What are the best space opera books?

Ever wanted to jet off into the outer space? If you're the sprightly and spirited sort, you'll surely find these space opera books catapulting your dreams into fruition! Yes, the experience you get from these books may not be tangible, but visceral feelings they generate are definitely no less remarkable!

283 contributors
31 solutions
  1. 30

    #1The Foundation Trilogy

    The Foundation Trilogy

    The Foundation Trilogy is a science fiction series by the acclaimed author Isaac Asimov. A widely-beloved space opera collection, this contains Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second and Foundation books.

    Books

    Check price

    Madison White
    Written on March 24, 2018
    "A must-have for every science fiction reader. Not only that but for a collector, I would say go for it and add this to your collection while you can still get them at this price! Good 'ol Isaac Asimov. His books are famous for a reason. These are all great reading."
  2. 28

    #2Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)

    Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)

    Ender's Game is the first space opera book in The Ender Quintet series by Orson Scott Card, which centers on Ender being trained in military and combat to prepare against an alien attack. 

    Books

    Check price

    Harold Carroll
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Ender's Game is honestly one of my favorite books of all times. Whether you are looking for the best space opera or war book or young adult book, this is the one you need to grab. This is the only book I have ever finished the last page of then immediately flipped back to page one to reread because I enjoyed it so much."
  3. 27

    #3Dune (Dune Chronicles)

    Dune (Dune Chronicles)

    Written by Frank Herbert, Dune is a 1965 space opera novel that centers on the story of Paul Atreides who becomes Muad'Dib and embarks on a journey to avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family.

    Books

    Check price

    Helen Ramos
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "A book for everyone, Dune by Frank Herbert is a must read. Set on another planet in the depths of space, this is a story you'll find yourself wanting to revisit again and again."

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that space opera used to be an insult? Sounds quite unbelievable for a sci-fi subgenre that everybody seems to love, right? But yes, it used to refer to lackluster and hackneyed plots that involve spaceships and ray guns. The term was first used and popularized by Wilson Tucker, a science fiction writer and critic. At the time of its coinage, serial radio dramas in the United States had come to embrace the definitive term soap operas. The term seemed apt for an umbrella term since a majority of these so-called soap operas were sponsored by soap manufacturers. At the same time, the phrase horse opera had also come to adopt a meaning that refers to formulaic Western films. And this was how Tucker perceived space opera books, films, and other forms of art. In addition, fans and critics alike had also commented that the plots of space operas had been taken from horse operas and put into an outer space milieu.

Since then, the term had gone on to take expanded meanings. This is especially true beginning in 1960's and 1970's, the space opera was broadly redefined as the classic. Yet, his redefinition wasn't met with without challenges. It came under fire following couples Judy-Lynn and Lester del Rey's article in their reviews. In particular, the two challenged the belief that space operas were obsolete. They also labelled Leigh Brackett's earlier works as space opera novels. On the onset of the 1980's, space operas had become attached to a new definition. Pop culture works like Star Wars books or movies became known as space operas. And it was only in the 1990's the term became a legitimate subgenre of science fiction.

  1. 25

    #4The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a space opera novel written by Douglas Adams. It depicts Arthur Dent's road voyage with his alien friend Ford Prefect after his house and the Earth was destroyed.

    Books

    Check price

    Lawrence Schneider
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Beautiful book with great story about space. "
  2. 24

    #5The Mote in God's Eye (Mote Series)

    The Mote in God's Eye (Mote Series)

    The Mote in God's Eye is a science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Set in the year 3016, this space opera tells the story of the first interaction between mankind an alien species.

    Books

    Check price

    Christine Alvarado
    Written on March 25, 2018
    "A beautifully written futuristic book for science fiction lovers. My son loved this book as he is a big fan of Sci-Fi genre. It takes you into a world where humans meet aliens for the first time. It's a must read for all those who enjoyed books like Ender's Game."
  3. 23

    #6A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)

    A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)

    A Fire Upon the Deep is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge. It tells the story of Blight, awakened from its slumber and wreaking galactical havoc. It is the first book in the Zones of Thought series. 

    Books

    Check price

    Douglas Foster
    Written on March 14, 2018
    "A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought) is a very good space opera or space drama book. The characters are very interesting and I found the story line itself to be very gripping. The ending of this book is very good as well and I could not put this book down once I started to get to the end of it. "
  4. 21

    #7Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga)

    Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga)

    Judas Unchained is a science fiction novel by Peter F. Hamilton. Set in the 24th century, it tells the story of the Intersolar Commonwealth as mankind wage war against their enemy species. It is the second book in the Commonwealth saga. 

    Books

    Check price

    Judy Adams
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "The Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton is a classic in the space opera genre and Judas Unchained is one of the best in the series. Exploring the nature of war and humanity, this book doesn't hesitate to describe the gory details of battle. Great characters and fiery dialogue move the story along with multiple plot threads tangling and detangling along the way. Be aware, though: these books are super long!"
  5. 18

    #8Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas is the first book in the futuristic, comedic, science fiction series for young adults written by Iain M. Banks. It was first published in March 2008. It is about a future where Faith and Culture fight for supremacy.

    Books

    Check price

    Amanda Harper
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I love fantasy books and this one rates high on my to read list."
  6. 18

    #9Starship Troopers

    Starship Troopers
    In 5000 humanity will face the total extermination and our only chance to survive is a highly-trained soldiers called the Star Ship Troopers. That's the story of Jonny Rico, an idealistic trooper from the infantry. 
    Books

    Check price

    Ajay Bhatnagar
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "A homage to those iconic space pilots of yesteryear, and an attempt to write an updated, contemporary space opera. Now, having finished a trilogy of books set in the near-future, I am once again returning to the space lanes with a novel that I hope will be the first in a"
  7. 18

    #10Foundation and Empire

    Foundation and Empire
    Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov is a science fiction novel originally published in 1952 by the Doubleday. This is the second book from Asimov's Foundation series. It was followed by the Second Foundation.
    Books

    Check price

    Helen White
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is an excellent space opera and a classic of science fiction."
  8. 12

    #11Ringworld

    Ringworld

    Ringworld is the first novel in the Ringworld series written by Larry Niven. This science-fiction novel was originally published in 1970. This novel features aliens and the unexplored parts of the universe.

    Books

    Check price

    Ralph Lane
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This book was great! It was right up my alley and I could not put it down. I can't wait to read more in the series. "
  9. 8

    #12Revelation Space (Revelation Space)

    Revelation Space (Revelation Space)
    Revelation Space is the first book in the science fiction series Revelation Space written by Alastair Reynolds which centers on scientist Dan Sylveste trying to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats again. 
    Books

    Check price

    Emily Gilbert
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This book is okay for me. It has a good plot, but it starts off slowly. There are a lot of grammatical errors. That being said, the author is and astrophysicist by profession, so he knows his stuff. I think that the book might be better in the audio version. Worth a read, but not in the top 25 of the genre."
  10. 0

    #13Pushing Ice

    Pushing Ice
    Pushing Ice is a science fiction and space opera novel written by Alastair Reynolds. This book is about Bella Lind's journey and it is first published in 2005 by Gollancz.
    Books

    Check price

    Diane Soto
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Pushing Ice has almost everything I want in an amazing book. It has mystery, thrills, and great technology. It was missing one thing that I enjoy too though, which is deep characters. All of them seemed one dimensional, so it was a surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Great science fiction!"
  11. 0

    #14Galactic North

    Galactic North

    Galactic North is a science fiction and space opera book written by Alastair Reynolds. This book is set in Revelation Space universe and it is first published in 2006 by Gollancz.

    Books

    Check price

    Victoria Andrade
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Galactic North is a great quick read. The short stories are just the right length when I want a break from the longer, more intense science fiction books. Even though these are short stories, each are still filled with good character development and sci fi adventures."
  12. 0

    #15Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

    Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

    Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days is a science fiction and space opera book written by Alastair Reynolds. This book is set in Revelation Space universe and it is first published in 2003 by Gollancz.

    Books

    Check price

    Eugene Ellis
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Yet another addition to the Revelation Space series by Reynolds, this book is maybe the best in the series. It's short, but exciting from beginning to end... and I was happy to continue the adventures where I left off. I will be reading more from this author and recommending his work to others. I'm very impressed with his take on science fiction."
  13. 0

    #16House of Suns

    House of Suns

    House of Suns is a science fiction and space opera book written by Alastair Reynolds. It is first published in 2008 by Gollancz.

    Books

    Check price

    Aarav Chopra
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "As far as Reynold's books go I wouldn't say this is his best but it's up there. Since I was already familiar with him I wasn't blown away but I would say this is a good introduction. It's a great hard-sci-fi read that manages to stay human yet address the needs of an interstellar civilization."
  14. 0

    #17Children of Time

    Children of Time

    Children of Time is a standalone science fiction novel written by Adrian Tchaikovsky which centers on two civilizatio1ns who are in collission as they bnoth test the boundaries of each other to survive. 

    Books

    Check price

    Brian Murphy
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "The name alone, is lit. The premise, also lit. Definitely a suggested read if you're into space, and I am. Get into your interstellar jammies and prepare to read the entire book in one nnight. Because that's more than likely what will happen with this rollercoaster of fun to read."
  15. 0

    #18Deadman Switch

    Deadman Switch

    Deadman Switch is a speculative fiction and space opera novel written by award-winning author Timothy Zahn. This book was originally published in 1988 by Baen. It is set in the fictional world of Sphere - a dangerous system in the galaxy.

    Books

    Check price

    There are no comments yet!

    Share your opinion
  16. 0

    #19Hand of Mars (Starship's Mage Book 2)

    Hand of Mars (Starship's Mage Book 2)

    Hand of Mars (Starship's Mage Book 2) is a science-fiction fantasy novel written by Glynn Stewart. First published in 2015 by Faolan's Pen Publishing Inc., it is the second book in the Starship's Mage book series.

    Books

    Check price

    Austin Reid
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I don't know that I would consider it a space opera, but I have really enjoyed Hand of Mars, the second book in the Starship's Mage series. My friend recommended the first book to me and I really enjoyed it. This second book has been even better than the first!"
  17. 0

    #20Nemesis Games (The Expanse)

    Nemesis Games (The Expanse)
    Nemesis Games is a space opera and science fiction novel written by bestselling author James S.A. Corey. This book was originally published in June 2015. It was preceded by Cibola Burn and it was followed by Babylon's Ashes.
    Books

    Check price

    Keith Munoz
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "If you are a fan of anything Space then this is a must read! I loved the book from beginning to end and can't wait for more!"
  18. 0

    #21Onslaught (Rise of the Empire Book 6)

    Onslaught (Rise of the Empire Book 6)

    Onslaught (Rise of the Empire #6) is a science-fiction fantasy novel written by Ivan Kal. First published in 2016 by Amazon Digital Services LLC, it is the sixth book in the Rise of the Empire book series.

    Books

    Check price

    Jane Cunningham
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This looks like a good choice. What is a "space opera" really though. There are so many sci fi books out there but this looks okay."
  19. 0

    #22Warpath (Rise of the Empire Book 4)

    Warpath (Rise of the Empire Book 4)
    Warpath (Rise of the Empire Book 4) is a science-fiction fantasy novel written by Ivan Kal. First published in 2015 by Ivan Kal, it is the fourth book in the Rise of the Empire book series.
    Books

    Check price

    Dorothy Nelson
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I love this series. My biggest problem is waiting for the next book. "
  20. 0

    #23The Dreaming Void

    The Dreaming Void

    The Dreaming Void is a space opera and science fiction novel written by Peter F. Hamilton. This book was originally published in 2007. It was followed by Judas Unchained in the following year. It is the first book in The Void trilogy.

    Books

    Check price

    Ashley Peterson
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "a new take on an old classic "
  21. 0

    #24Inheritance (Rise of the Empire Book 5)

    Inheritance (Rise of the Empire Book 5)

    Inheritance (Rise of the Empire Book 5) is a science-fiction fantasy novel written by Ivan Kal. First published in 2016, it is the fifth book in the Rise of the Empire book series.

    Books

    Check price

    Aanya Chatterjee
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Inheritance book 5 of the Rise of the Empire series is one of the best space opera books available. There's no other books to really compare it to. The series is unique and insanely interesting to me. I can sit through reading the entire series. I love it so much."
  22. 0

    #25Reavers (The Ninth Book 3)

    Reavers (The Ninth Book 3)
    On the far reaches of colonized space, a lone colony goes dark. As the rest of the Commonwealth struggles to rebuild after the last war, a battleship of the Navy investigates the colony. What they find there threatens the entirety of humanity. While the Commonwealth struggles against internal turmoil an unknown menace on the edge of the galaxy grows.
    Books

    Check price

    Tammy Carr
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Reavers was a good follow up to second book in the series, but I was able to predict the ending before getting half way through the story. I wish there would have been more humor in this one like there was in the previous books as well."
  23. 0

    #26Gardens of the Sun (The Quiet War)

    Gardens of the Sun (The Quiet War)

    Gardens of the Sun is a science fiction novel written by Paul McAuley. It was first published in 2010 by Pyr, and it is the second book in the Quiet War series. It is a space opera following Earth's regime over the Solar System.

    Books

    Check price

    Lorenzo Vásquez
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "Gardens of the Sun (The Quiet War) is a pretty cook story but the cover was more interesting than the actual story. I was really disappointing by the lack of scale and depth, it was just too simply written and boring."
  24. 0

    #27Invasion (The Ninth Book 2)

    Invasion (The Ninth Book 2)

    Invasion (The Ninth Book 2) is a science-fiction fantasy novel written by Benjamin Schramm. First published in 2014 by Benjamin Schramm, it is the second book in The Ninth series.

    Books

    Check price

    Rogelio Vega
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "I liked it a lot, and had fun reading this one. I wouldn't call it the best but very good and if you are into this type of book you should read it and the whole series in fact. "
  25. 0

    #28The Ninth

    The Ninth

    The Ninth is a science-fiction fantasy novel written by Benjamin Schramm. First published in 2014 by Benjamin Schramm, it is the first book in The Ninth series.

    Books

    Check price

    Jennifer Garrett
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Science Fiction is just my thing, anyone would tell you. Space opera is my favorite genre of books, and The Ninth tops my list of the best in the genre."
  26. 0

    #29The Prefect (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency)

    The Prefect (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency)

    The Prefect is a science fiction and the first book in Prefect Dreyfus Emergency series written by Alastair Reynolds. It is first published in 2007 by Gollancz. 

    Books

    Check price

    Betty Pierce
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "Really good space opera novel. I think the series is headed in a good direction. I really enjoyed how the book touches on different aspects of the unexplored universe. "
  27. 0

    #30Century Rain

    Century Rain

    Century Rain is a space opera and science fiction novel written by Alastair Reynolds. It is first published in 2004 by Gollancz.

    Books

    Check price

    Samantha Wade
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "I enjoy Alastair Reynolds for his themes and overall storytelling. I love space operas and he is my go-to author. Century Rain is one of my favorites from him and is a great novel within the space opera genre."
  28. 0

    #31Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon's Children)

    Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon's Children)

    Blue Remembered Earth is a science fiction and the first book in Poseidon's Children series written by Alastair Reynolds. It is first published in 2012 by Orion Publishing Group.

    Books

    Check price

    There are no comments yet!

    Share your opinion

Summary

Best What are the best space opera books
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Foundation TrilogyBooks 30 Paid
2Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)Books 28 Paid
3Dune (Dune Chronicles) Books 27 Paid
4The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyBooks 25 Paid
5The Mote in God's Eye (Mote Series)Books 24 Paid
6A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)Books 23 Paid
7Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga)Books 21 Paid
8Consider PhlebasBooks 18 Paid
9Starship TroopersBooks 18 Paid
10Foundation and EmpireBooks 18 Paid
Close

This action requires you to be logged in

Quickly sign in with your social media account:

What interests you most? (Select at least 3)

This will help us to keep things fresh and relevant!

Close

Now that you’ve found a solution...

Why not join our community of sharp minds and pro-active posters?

Be part of a rewarding interactive knowledge exchange!
Close

Join These Inquisitive Minds

Engage, learn and share with a friendly community versed in a massive range of trending topics.