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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The definition of "space opera" has changed dramatically since it was coined in 1941 by renowned author and fanzine publisher Wilson Tucker (a "hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn"). In The Space Opera Renaissance -- a lap-numbing, 944-page anthology that can only be called definitive -- editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer explore the evolution of the subgenre from its pulp beginnings in the '30s and '40s to the present day, when the term is used to describe the very best in epic interstellar adventure. The 32 stories included within this massive collection are featured in rough chronological order; from Edmond Hamilton's 1929 classic "The Star Stealers" and Jack Williamson's "The Prince of Space" (1931) to more current works like David Weber's "Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington," Garcia y Robertson's "Ring Rats," and a Xeelee tale entitled "The Great Game" by Stephen Baxter.
As if the legendary list of authors included in this mammoth anthology weren't enough (Cordwainer Smith, Samuel R. Delaney, David Brin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Dan Simmons, Peter F. Hamilton, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, Alastair Reynolds, to name a few), the immensely informative introduction by Hartwell and Cramer makes The Space Opera Renaissance not only the best anthology of space opera tales ever compiled but also an invaluable reference guide for genre aficionados and historians alike. Paul Goat Allen