Tag Archives: Space Opera

See You Soon, Space Cowboy

It’s probably obvious that I’m a science fiction fan and, if you look at my own series, Rogue Tyger, a fan of the “crew on a ship and mayhem ensues” sci-fi sub-genre. And while it’s a very different show from what I’m trying to do, the landmark anime series Cowboy Bebop was and is a huge influence — and not just in terms of the title.

So, of course I’m going to check out the upcoming live-action version from Netflix and immediately checked out their opening credits teaser that dropped the other month:

Okay, exciting to see the transition to live-action. I fully expect things to change, but it feels a bit Adam West Batman at times. I mean, Cowboy Bebop is nothing if not style and you get a sense of style, but I still remember Disney’s Black Cauldron and the cute-ification of Gurgi. Don’t mess this up, folks.

So next, this drops.

On the one hand, this is an absolute blast. There’s a sense of play and meta-storytelling that tells you this isn’t your average show. On the other hand, even with the hint at Vicious, is this too wacky/silly? Maybe. I mean, part of the joy of Cowboy Bebop for me was not just the inventive worldbuilding and sense of style, but the fact that they could go from absurd and comical to serious quite quickly. Because even if the characters didn’t approach life somberly, it was a very serious solar system out there with things that could quickly kill you. And again, I get that something with the tone could change in going to live action, and it could be its own thing, but even so:


Finally, this drops:

Yeah. There we go. Many of the beats hit just right. Funny. Serious. Bizarre. That’s my Bebop right there.

Just don’t mess it up.

Comparing Galactic Empires

Continuing from the musings about the soon-to-be Foundation TV series, I thought about the different series that have massive, interstellar empires… and it turns out I’m not alone.

Quinn (who’s videos you should check out if you want to know waaaay more about Dune before that film adaptation comes out later this year) does some comparisons of three literary biggies:


Farscape Comic Con Panel

The time-tested pop culture event that is the San Diego Comic Con is virtual this year thanks to the pandemic, so I believe the videos are online sooner than ever before.

On Monday, I posted the Star Trek panel, but as longtime readers may recall, I love Farscape, so of course I watched this panel:

The Worst Derelict Spaceships to Board

I’ve mentioned science fiction tropes here before, back in 2016 and also this year.

Heck, I’ve even written a Jabberwocky Audio special that parodies the many tales of crews boarding derelict ships.

This is quite established, as the crew over at Generation Films knows well:

Warning, this will have spoilers for

  • The film Ad Astra
  • The TV series The Expanse
  • The video game Dead Space
  • The film Sunshine
  • The film Alien
  • The film Predators
  • The film Event Horizon
  • The film Pandorum

In Space, No One Can Hear You…

Hopefully you’re not having a crappy Monday, but if you give a crap or, rather, need to crap, Daniel from Spacedock understands.

Also, why YT-1300 freighter designers, WHY?!? Have you no concept of personal space?

Space Opera Tropes

Speculative fiction writer Charles Stross has written a blog post about space opera clich├ęs which has been brought to my attention by one of the denizens of MOSF.

I haven’t read too much of Charles Stross, though I like his imaginative and subtly disturbing short story, “Rogue Farm.” It sounds like he enjoys being a bit harder with his sci-fi and space opera than some, which comes through in this list. For that reason, I can see how some writers might not be as concerned with some of entries on this list, but reading it in total, I think it’s a good reality-check/world-building check. Because frankly, if you ignore the majority of these points, your sci-fi world is going to seem incomplete and not well thought out. And any clever plots or characterizations will ring hollow as you haven’t successfully suspended disbelief.

This is very timely as I’m working on a short story involving a space elevator, something so geeky that, on one level, I must make the world-building believable — otherwise what’s the point? At the same time, the aspect of the story that’s really taken it out of mothballs has been the arc I’ve figured out for the main character. Ah, the joy of balance!