That's how many words I have written on my damn 15,000 word story for the damn Space Opera anthology that I am co-editing my own damned self.
The anthology is called THE VOID ETERNAL and it is being co-edited by G.W. Thomas and my alter-ego Jack Mackenzie. This anthology highlights the specific genre that has come to be known as Space Opera.
Now Space Opera is considered by some to be a bit of a pejorative right up there with "sci-fi" or "that Buck Rogers stuff". Personally I love space opera, as I have posted before. I love literature and TV or movies that includes space travel, alien races, far-flung galactic empires, robots, etc.
I was talking with G.W. Thomas not too long ago and we both agreed that despite space opera's negative connotations, many a great SF masterpiece falls into the space opera category. Dune, for instance is classic space opera. The genius of that book is that Herbert turned all of the common sf tropes of the time and turned it all on its head. That's why I always find it kind of amusing when folks complain about George Lucas ripping off Frank Herbert for Star Wars (another unabashed space opera) when Herbert himself was recycling older tropes invented by other authors.
The Left Hand of Darkness has space opera elements. Ursula K. Leguin's protagonist is a spacefaring agent come to investigate the situation on the world of Karhide, a planet that has developed a unique biological survival mechanisms. LeGuin does not focus on the space travel (although a spaceship does arrive in the end, people forget that) to concentrate of the blurring of gender roles. Nevertheless, the novel introduces a trope used by many works of space opera since: the ansible, an instantaneous communication device that allows messages to be sent over vast distances. It's a useful device that ha been swiped by many authors since (including myself).
TV and movies is rife with space opera. What is usually labelled as SF (or sci-fi) is usually space opera. Star Trek, Doctor Who, Buck Rogers, Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine, Firefly, Farscape, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica (both versions) and Star Wars (naturally). Avatar, of course is pure space opera -- derivative space opera, some have called it (a big fat rip-off according to others).
What is the point of this rumination? There is none. The fact is I am staring a bout of writer's block in the face and it is beginning to loom large in my field of vision, like an enemy fleet or a black hole. It's been three days since the story ran out of steam and I'm worried about getting it back on track.
So I guess the point of this post is to try to jump-start the creative process and, along the way, act a a "Cool image" delivery system for your enjoyment. So there you go. I hope that my angsty writer's block has provided you with an enjoyable detour on your internet cruise.
Until next time...
I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?