Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Space Opera

IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SINGA century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix - part gladiatorial contest, p...

Details Space Opera

TitleSpace Opera
Release DateOct 4th, 2018
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Fantasy

Reviews Space Opera

  • Hannah Greendale
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. Space Opera is Eurovision in space! The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of the washed up lead singer of a band notorious for inventing "the entire electro-funk glamgrind genre." With puns, pop-culture references, and some unapologetic observations about the human race, Valente escorts readers through the cosmos to the glittering, psychedelic, bizarr...
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2.5 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature (along with my co-reviewer Jana's review). It took me nearly two months to read this Eurovision in space/Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mashup, start to finish. My journey began with Anticipation, shifted to Befuddlement and Boredom, passed through Dismay, flirted with DNF, picked up again a few weeks later with Resolution, and ended with an overdose of Whimsy and Zaniness.Oort St. Ultraviole...
  • Gary
    In the setup for Catherynne M. Valente’s new “Eurovision in space” novel Space Opera, a has-been, burned-out, Bowie-wannabe rock star called Decibel Jones is inexplicably chosen to sing in an intergalactic competition for humanity’s right to exist. Unfortunately, after the amusingly gonzo kickoff, the subsequent two-thirds of the book is the most epic filler of all time – a plotless pile of twisty-worded tangents about everything on Ear...
  • Matthew
    If I were to give this book a one word review, it would be:OverwrittenThis book, in my opinion tries WAY too hard. What it tries way too hard to do, I am not quite sure, but I was starting to get a headache trying to keep up with all the stuff it was throwing my way. It seemed like every sentence had to have a punchline. Every description came with a built in footnote story. It was delivered under what seemed like the influence of 1000 energy dri...
  • Trish
    Life is beautiful. And life is stupid. Once upon a time on a small, watery, exciteable planet called Earth ... we find out that we are indeed not alone in the universe. On the contrary. The universe is teeming with all kinds of life (including the most improbable forms of FTL transportation) and after a horrible intergalactic war, every sentient species has agreed on a form of contest with which to entertain but also combat one another. And it is...
  • Bradley
    Life is beautiful. Life is stupid.This book was all kinds of freaking wonderful, packed to the gills with glam and snark and a buttload of heart-wrenching brutal honesty wrapped up with a bow of sex, aliens, and rock and roll.A lot of people are equating this with Hitchhiker's Guide, but in a lot of ways, it's better. And worse. The sheer amount of delightful rock-and-roll trivia and snark made me think of Rob Reid's Year Zero, but this was bette...
  • Jenne
    So, one time I bought a bottle of Miracle-Gro for my houseplants. I used it once or twice and then stuck it in the back of a cupboard and forgot about it. Years later, when I was moving house, I cleared out the cupboard and found the bottle, which had leaked somehow and the Miracle-Gro had actually *made the bottle itself grow*! There were all these baroque sort of globules growing fractally off the side of it. It was magical and also a bit distu...
  • Maria
  • Lindsay
    Humorous writing is not for everyone; senses of humor just tend to be too different and/or incompatible. This one hits my sense of humor square on: absurdist, wry and with a core of profundity that works very well with the lush writing that the author has on display elsewhere.After the Sentience Wars interstellar civilization has implemented the Metagalactic Grand Prix song contest which all prospective sentient species must compete in and not co...
  • Veronique
    3.5*When I heard that Valente was creating a ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ in space with alien civilisations battling by song, I was totally sold, especially since I’d wanted to read something of hers for ages. The problem you see is that the author had to write it in a humouristic, tongue-in-cheek, tone and I don’t do well with that style. I still read it, enjoyed it to a certain extent, smiled a few times, recognised the writing skill, but ...
  • Lena
    This book is what comes from combining refined sugar, cocaine, and a word processor. The comma to period ratio was about 100:1. They were frenzied, rabid sentences.Never in this life would I have thought I’d be complaining about the writing from the author of The Refrigerator Monologues.As far as the subject matter, if you liked The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet you’ll like this: hard agenda covered in soft confectionary science fiction.D...
  • Hiba
    Life is beautiful and life is stupid. As long as you keep that in mind, and never give more weight to one than the other, the history of the galaxy, the history of a planet, the history of a person is a simple tune with lyrics flashed on-screen and a helpful, friendly bouncing disco ball of glittering, occasionally peaceful light to help you follow along.Cue the music. Cue the dancers.Cue tomorrow I have alot of reasons to not to like this book...
  • Lata
    While I love Catherynne M. Valente's sentences for their cleverness, biting humour and commentary, I find that my reaction to her work really depends on whether I'm listening to it or reading it. I tend to struggle with her long and convoluted senteneces when I read her text, but just adore her work when I listen to it as I really like her wordplay. I was concerned reading reviews for this book as people kept making glowing comments and reference...
  • Vivian
    My WRITE IN VOTE for GR's 2018 CHOICE AWARDS, SCIENCE FICTION================Like being at the best cocktail party--EVER!So funny, clever, over-the-top, philosophical Eurovision/Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that had hints of This is Spinal Tap and cameos by:How you ask. Simple. After nearly annihilating the universe, the varying factions created the Grand Prix, a so My WRITE IN VOTE for GR's 2018 CHOICE AWARDS, SCIENCE FICTION==============...
  • Charlie Anders
    This is another book that I blurbed, so I'm just expanding on what I already said. This book is SO MUCH FUN. The bountiful silliness, and the space setting, will automatically inspire comparisons to Douglas Adams --- but this is really something different and outrageous, all its own. I found the story of a washed up pop group trying to save the world quite moving and sweet, and just lovely.
  • G33z3r
    Sad to say this attempt to become Douglas Adams went awry. It's just not funny enough to make up for its lack of character and story. The "plot" is just too small to hang the book on, so it's been filled with digressions as exposition, trying desperately to be funny though absurdist non-sequiters. (Certainly the Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy, to which the promotional material boldly refers, had its share of such digressions & the absurd, but A...
  • Acqua
    If you are a mostly adult SFF + YA reader like me, it doesn't matter which books you've read - this will be one of the weirdest you've ever found. It's Eurovision in space, against aliens, and if the humans lose, they will be exterminated.This is the kind of book that doesn't make sense, but it also does. It's so over-the-top it's almost exhausting, it's comedy, it's so alien - but it's also a very human, very serious book. Its main themes are wh...
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum first line of the description for Space Opera likens it to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I think it’s an apt comparison because the influence of Douglas Adams clearly shows (and the author even acknowledges it). This is the kind of book that will make you simultaneously laugh and shake your head in amazement wondering how anyone could have come up with...
  • Emily
    Okay, wow. What a book!This was such a wonderful, wild ride. Valente's writing is gorgeous, per usual.The middle portion of this dragged a bit for me, but I also think this is the kind of book where I'll pick it up to reread those passages that I initially thought of as boring. EVERYTHING in this book feel inventive and fun and silly and gravely serious all at the same time.We flip between two stories, so to speak. One is the story of Decibal Jon...
  • David
    I am a big fan of Catherynne Valente, but she's one of those writers with a very distinctive style that does not always hit the right notes for me. To use what is possibly the most unlikely equivalence of all, I will compare her to Cormac McCarthy — sometimes his long, run-on punctuationless walls of text evoke the natural world and the brutality of humankind in an incomparable, breathtaking fashion, and sometimes you just want to throw one of ...
  • Gabrielle
    Catherynne M. Valente is an incredible prose stylist. Exceedingly verbose, deliriously lyrical; she whips up the craziest, most beautiful images with her long-winded sentences. Reading her feels like drinking a strange and unusual cocktail, and you have to be ready to get dizzy when you crack her books open: it’s all part of the fun. But it is not for everyone… The synopsis of “Eurovision in space meets Douglas Adams with a David Bowie-like...
  • Robyn
    Not an objective rating - this was just so very much fun and somehow tailored to my exact personal tastes. Recommended if you love Eurovision, recommended if you just love lushly written, hilarious, intense stories.
  • Lulu
    3.5, rounded up.I wanted to like this so much more than I actually did. I liked the writing style - that quirky, tongue-in-cheek humour. I absolutely see why it has drawn so many comparisons to Hitchhiker's. It felt that way to me too. And Eurovision in space? That's a killer concept right there, and one that seems tailor made to my interests.And yet...and yet, it didn't quite hit the mark. I was absolutely enamoured for the first few hours. And ...
  • Sana
    'How else are you supposed to deal with people who like terrible things? Hit them with a shovel till they stop, that's how. That should be the thirtieth Unkillable Fact, I tell you what.'TEARY FEELSPLOSION AND ALL THE GRINNING.Space Opera is definitely the most bizarre and batshit crazy book I've ever read and I loved every minute of it. Humor combined with social commentary (the objective of which is to way more than just roast but I love that i...
  • Rachel (rachandbooks)
    "Life is beautiful and life is stupid."Ohhhhh Cat Valente, how I adore your writing. This is the fourth book by her I've read and I've adored ALL of them. I understand that she writes niche things, but I love it. Who would have thought that a book about Eurovision in space would become a favorite of mine? Well, I didn't, but because Valente was writing it, I had a hunch I would admire it.Space Opera begins on little planet Earth, where the people...
  • Peter Tillman
    With 916 reviews here already, I will be brief. As always, read the head-blurb first. The reviews are, well, mixed. I’m in the middle.It’s a *very unusual* first-contact story, well-done, imaginative…. It really is SF. It held my attention until the last few chapters, when the silliness and jungle-rules of the Grand Prix du Galaxie got to be too much. Non-spoller alert: the book ends well, with sweetness & light and even less credibility. I...
  • unknown
    Does what it says on the tin.