Charles Stross Space Opera

tylenol4000

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I recently read Glasshouse and loved it (I'm trying to find an author I like as much as Philip k Dick, and Stross could potentially be the one!). I'm curious, would Glasshouse be considered Space Opera?

Anyways, what I'm really wondering about is his earlier Space Opera novels, like Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise. How are they? I don't hear people mention these very often. Usually when Stross' name comes up it's in regards to Halting State or one of it sequels. I may check those out sometime, but i'm mostly interested in his books that are more classicly SF...if you know what i mean...

Would Singularity Sky appeal to a fan of Iain M. Banks? It seems like it would be a novel in the vein of Banks. And would you put it in the same category as Saturn's Children, which is also supposed to be space opera?
 

J-Sun

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...Saturn's Children, which is also supposed to be space opera?
I've only read Toast, Accelerando, and Saturn's Children so I can't help with your questions but the quoted bit prompts me to say that SC is not a space opera. It has a bit of space travel (in a minimal way and which the travelers hate) but it's basically a planet-based homage to Heinlein's Friday. Also, it was my understanding that Glasshouse was a sort of Orwellian piece that's even more confined than "planet-bound" and was more "building-bound" but I could well be wrong there. Accelerando isn't really a space opera either but it definitely, eventually, has more space opera aspects than SC.

Puzzled, though: why are you looking for space opera if you're looking for an author you like as much as Dick? I mean, "as much" doesn't mean "in the same way as", but PKD and space opera don't touch very often.

Anyway and either way - welcome to the Chrons. :)
 

Bick

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Anyways, what I'm really wondering about is his earlier Space Opera novels, like Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise. ...Would Singularity Sky appeal to a fan of Iain M. Banks?
Excellent, and yes it's a bit Banksian. I read Singularity Sky last year and loved it. I must read Iron Sunrise soon. Its a very modern space opera style novel, full of cracking ideas, and nicely written.
 

williamjm

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Anyways, what I'm really wondering about is his earlier Space Opera novels, like Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise. How are they? I don't hear people mention these very often. Usually when Stross' name comes up it's in regards to Halting State or one of it sequels. I may check those out sometime, but i'm mostly interested in his books that are more classicly SF...if you know what i mean...

Would Singularity Sky appeal to a fan of Iain M. Banks? It seems like it would be a novel in the vein of Banks. And would you put it in the same category as Saturn's Children, which is also supposed to be space opera?
I've liked some of Stross' stories, but I thought Singularity Sky was the weakest of his books that I've read. It was definitely in the vein of Banks, but unfortunately that mostly meant that it felt like a story that would have been much better if Banks (or Ken MacLeod) had written it. I wasn't that keen on Accelerando, either, although it did at least have some interesting ideas. I think both books were really let down by poor characterisation. Although I've not read it, I've heard that Iron Sunrise was a significant improvement on Singularity Sky.

I enjoyed his Lovecraft-inspired espionage series starting with The Atrocity Archives a lot, and I also thought the first book in his Merchant Princes fantasy series was reasonably good (but haven't read any of the sequels). There was some good stuff in his Toast short story collection, as well.
 

Ursa major

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Regarding Stross' space operas, Singularity Sky isn't his best novel - there's a bit too much going on (but it's a first novel, and that can happen in those) - but it's still a decent read. Iron Sunrise, the sequel, is better (and better than Accelerando). Saturn's Children is definitely worth a look**.


His Laundry books are definitely worth a look (though they're not space opera). Even the slightly weaker of the four novels (The Jennifer Morgue) is entertaining.



** - I must get hold of its sequel, Neptune's Brood.
 

tylenol4000

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I've only read Toast, Accelerando, and Saturn's Children so I can't help with your questions but the quoted bit prompts me to say that SC is not a space opera. It has a bit of space travel (in a minimal way and which the travelers hate) but it's basically a planet-based homage to Heinlein's Friday. Also, it was my understanding that Glasshouse was a sort of Orwellian piece that's even more confined than "planet-bound" and was more "building-bound" but I could well be wrong there. Accelerando isn't really a space opera either but it definitely, eventually, has more space opera aspects than SC.

Puzzled, though: why are you looking for space opera if you're looking for an author you like as much as Dick? I mean, "as much" doesn't mean "in the same way as", but PKD and space opera don't touch very often.

Anyway and either way - welcome to the Chrons. :)

Well, I'm just a huge PkD fan. And I'm kinda going thru a space opera phase. Just got into Iain Banks recently ;)
 

Bick

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I saw his books on Amazon but they don't seem to get high ratings for some reason
I don't think that's true, I just checked Amazon US and Amazon UK and almost all his books get 4, 4.5 or 5 stars. Singularity Sky actually seems to be the lowest star rating, and even so it gets 3.5 stars (and I would give it 4).
 

Venusian Broon

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Well, I'm just a huge PkD fan. And I'm kinda going thru a space opera phase. Just got into Iain Banks recently ;)
Don't worry tylenol4000, I'm a huge PKD nut as well (personally got 35 of his books) but I'm also a bit of a space opera obsessive as well.

Who knows by positioning ourselves so, we will fuse together things that have not been thought of as similar and create a new sub-sub genre ;)
 

Gramm838

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Stross' books are not always an easy read - I think Iron Sunrise is the best of his books (and it has a similar premise as Banks' Look to Windward)...but I wouldn't class Stross as a space opera author
 

tylenol4000

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Don't worry tylenol4000, I'm a huge PKD nut as well (personally got 35 of his books) but I'm also a bit of a space opera obsessive as well.

Who knows by positioning ourselves so, we will fuse together things that have not been thought of as similar and create a new sub-sub genre ;)
AE Van Vogt? I'd say that's the ticket....well, not all of his stuff. But, yea. (I'v just started getting into his stuff)
 
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