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text 2018-07-06 19:26
BBC 1! BBC 2! BBC 3!
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

A Cat Valente novel in the vein of Hitchhiker's Guide, which both works and doesn't work in the ways one would expect from such a thing. Valente's prose has always been extremely ornamental, and she applies this to British-style humor with a trowel. Sometimes this becomes just deliriously, fabulously overdone, and sometimes it collapses from the weight. I hear it's getting a movie treatment (or possibly short series) which will probably be a better medium, especially if it's BBC micro-budget. 

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review 2018-06-16 22:30
Space Opera
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision!!!  Cool concept, right?  

 

I agree that it's a cool concept, but I can't say that I found Space Opera quite as amazeballs as some of the other reviews I've seen here at BookLikes.  Like most Saturday Night Live skits, I felt like Space Opera had one good joke that it tried to milk for just too long,

 

Perhaps the trouble is partly that I read Space Opera as an audiobook, and as such found the asides on the asides on the asides just a bit hard to follow. Or perhaps it's just that Catherynne M. Valente put a lot of energy into a writing style that I don't enjoy much (I'd previously looked at The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making  but it didn't grab my interest and Six-Gun Snow White didn't quite work for me either).

 

 

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review 2018-06-08 20:19
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente - My Thoughts
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

I tried, folks, I really tried hard!  I bought this book because everyone recommended it.  All the book blogs, all the SFF authors and even some of the authors in other genres that I follow.  I loved the idea of it.  And then it got picked up for a movie treatment.  It had to be good, right?

Well.. not for me. 

I made it 1/3rd of the way through.  Nothing happened.  Nothing except a lot of clever writing that in it's overabundance drowned out any delight in the humour I could find.  I'm not made for this type of writing, for this type of book.  It's Douglas Adams-like for sure and certain and I assume that fans of his work - and they are legion - will enjoy this book immensely.  I tried so hard to enjoy it, but I couldn't.

So, for me DNF, but that's my fault and not the book's.  :)

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review 2018-06-05 15:12
Space Opera Made Simple: "Embers of War" by Gareth L. Powell
Embers of War - Gareth L. Powell

Space Opera Made Simple: " Embers of War" by Gareth L. Powell


I can't believe all the people who want to see the SF establishment have a hack at Iain M. Bank's Culture novels. If ever there were novels that I hope Hollywood will never be let anywhere near it's those ones. The books are usually quite long and always involve considerable subtlety. Seeing that rendered down to a brainless action movie would just be heart breaking. Worse would be the fact that no screen-writer seems capable of restraining themselves from fucking around with stories. So that something totally out of character for the Culture World would be bound to intrude. For me the Culture is alive and well in my imagination. I can visit it any time I want by picking up one of the books. Why would I want some Hollywood Muppet wreck? Ideally any space opera movies will be original stories. The best movies are always written as movies, with the media and format in mind. Novels work best as novels. Almost without exception novel adaptations are terrible. Some are so terrible as to be whispered about, on full moon nights, surrounded by pentagrams... *Dune*...
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

 

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review 2018-06-02 17:03
Review: Space Opera
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

File under "Appreciated More Than Enjoyed." 

 

The tag line for this is epic and perhaps I set my expectations too high. I expected the long asides, they're the glue that holds together the nonsense ride of a plot in HHGTTG. I liked the referenced, and recycled, but not quite stolen whole cloth versions of the babblefish and infinite improbability drive. I expected the spectacle of Eurovision as illustrated through wildly different alien species. I did not expect the talking cat, but I did like the talking cat. 

 

I also didn't expect that, after publishing The Refrigerator Monologues, a book dedicated to the female characters of comics who died to provide motivation for male comic book heroes, Valente would center the character motivations of her two male protagonists on the death of a woman and build the narrative around her absence. I thought Trillian got the short end of the stick in Adam's comedy, but at least she was there.

 

I have other complaints, that the asides are a little too long and the end a little rushed. Mostly, though, I think they all boil down to the same issue: If this had been a novelette instead of a novel length work, I'd probably have loved it. This is just too long for as little as happens, and I had too much time to think about what I didn't like while waiting for anything to happen.

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