From the Golden Age to the modern day, from Lensmen, to Star Wars, to Guardians of the Galaxy, nothing has served as a more ready signifier of what science fiction can do as a genre than the space opera. Futuristic weapons and instellar warfare in fantastical, pan-galactic settings: it’s truly the stuff dreams are made of. Next April, Saga Press and accomplished editor John Joseph Adams will celebrate all the subgenre has to offer modern readers with Cosmic Powers: A Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies, an collection of 17 brand-new space opera stories from a fascinating assortment of familiar and up-and-coming writers.
“The foundation of space opera—and, more broadly, science fiction and fantasy as a whole—is sense of wonder,” Adams said. “Nowhere is sense of wonder more prevalent than in stories like the ones in Cosmic Powers—stories of larger-than-life heroes battling menacing forces, in far-flung galaxies, with the fate of the universe at stake. My love for these kinds of stories began in the pages of comic books. When I discovered these characters and their stories, my mind was set ablaze…and I was hopelessly, fanatically hooked.
“Forever after, I was always chasing that ‘sensawunda’ high, eventually moving on from comics to science fiction and fantasy novels (and, there, clearly found much to love—and a career). Spurred by that nostalgia and the improbable—but deeply gratifying—success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie, for this anthology, I challenged 17 writers to tackle that same kind of larger-than-life, ‘cosmic scale’ story as I first found in those comics I fell in love with as a kid.”
We’ll tell you just who those 17 writers are in a moment. First, we want to show you the collection’s flat-out astonishing cover painting, from iconic artist Chris Foss, whose work in the 1970s came to define what a good science fiction book was to look like (his talent certainly impressed Alejandro Jodorowsky, who hired him to create concept sketches for an infamous, never-completed adaptation of Dune). Cosmic Powers marks his first cover work in decades, and working with him was a “pinch me moment” for Joe Monti, editorial director of Saga Press. One look at the cover art, and it’s easy to see why.
I mean, how can you resist this book? (Click here to see the full wraparound image, sans text and suitable for use as your computer desktop.)
Table of Contents
John Joseph Adams
“A Temporary Embarassment in Spacetime”
Charlie Jane Anders
“Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance”
Tobias S. Buckell
“The Deckhand, the Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts”
“The Sighted Watchmaker”
Adam-Troy Castro, with Judi B. Castro
“Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World”
Caroline M. Yoachim
“Our Specialty is Xenogeology”
Alan Dean Foster
“Tomorrow When We See the Sun”
A. Merc Rustad
“Bring the Kid and Revisit the Past at the Traveling Retro Funfair!”
“The Dragon That Flew Out of the Sun”
Aliette De Bodard
“Diamond and the World Breaker”
“The Chameleon’s Gloves”
Yoon Ha Lee
“The Universe, Sung in Stars”
“The Frost Giant’s Data”
“Science fiction has basically been training us over the years to yearn for the stars, ever since SF’s pulp era, when every other magazine cover featured a rocket ship intended to take us across the galaxy,” Adams said. “We’ve been trained to think of space, if not the final frontier, then at least the next one for us to conquer.”
Cosmic Powers will be published in April 2017—preorder now and take it with you to the theater when you watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.