We love Space Opera. Big, bold and pure escapism. For May the Fourth, here's our celebration of the best out there
Iain M. Banks Culture - 25th anniversary box set: Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games and Use of Weapons
Iain M. Banks£24.99 £23.24
Such a fabulous writer, the Culture universe is one of the best loved in SO.
Lois McMaster Bujold£5.99 £5.57
If you haven't read Lois McMaster Bujold, you've missed out. Wonderful character driven Space Opera with a main character in Miles Vorkosigan who you'll either want to throttle, or you'll adore. (Or both).
Frank Herbert£12.99 £12.08
The Daddy of the genre, Dune is an epic, sprawling family dynasty drama set in space. With drugs and giant sandworms. What else could you want in a book?
Toby Frost£8.99 £8.36
We adore Toby Frost. So funny and fresh. Think of it as a Biggles in Space.
Ian McDonald£9.99 £9.29
Ian McDonald is Northern Ireland's leading science fiction author, building on the greats such as James White and Bob Shaw, and this is his epic, sprawling luna-based Dynasty.
Neal Asher£8.99 £8.36
Another of the great SO worlds, the Polarity has the breadth and depth you'd hope for.
Timothy Zahn£9.99 £9.29
The Star Wars extended universe is vast, fitting for a film that spawned so much interest in the genre (is it sci fi? Or is it fantasy? We reckon it's Space Opera). This is one of the recently loved additions
George Lucas£16.98 £15.79
But for those who like their Star Wars tradition, here's the original novel.
Douglas Adams£20.00 £18.60
This is such a gorgeous new edition, released for the 40th anniversary with illustrations by Chris Riddell. Well worth picking up.
Chip Carter£9.99 £9.29
We know better than putting the Star Wars universe in and leaving out the Trekkies....
Dennis E. Taylor£10.60
A recent addition to the SO canon, this series is so much fun, from an independent author.
Alastair Reynolds£10.99 £10.22
Vast, epic and imaginative, Reynolds captures the feel of Space Opera so well.
James S. A. Corey£8.99 £8.36
The Expanse universe is one of the must-reads of the SO world.
Peter F. Hamilton£10.99 £10.22
Peter F Hamilton, one of the UK's leading SF writers, creates vast books, that are guaranteed to keep you reading for weeks. This one, the first in his Void series, is one we love.
John Scalzi£8.99 £8.36
Scalzi is one of the newest exponents of Space Opera, and this is his most acclaimed entry into it. For a bit of fun, we'd also recommend Red Shirts.
Becky Chambers£8.99 £8.36
Immersive, character led and diverse this is the entry book into Becky Chambers fabulous series.
Robert A. Heinlein£9.99 £9.29
Love it or hate it, Starship Troopers - and Heinlein - are quintessential SO. (We love it)
Robert A. Heinlein£11.99 £11.15
Jo's entry book into SF, Heinlein wrote more YA sci fi than is often known. This one, about an alien pet is one of the best fun.
Dan Simmons£10.99 £10.22
Much loved, this is Dan Simmons' classic SO.
E E Doc Smith, Lee Harkins Garby, et al.£16.98
An oldie but a goodie, EE Doc Smith is one of the greats.
Pierce Brown£8.99 £8.36
The entry novel into Pierce Brown's epic series.
Orson Scott Card£8.99 £8.36
The classic book about child soldiers, Ender's Game is the first - and best - in the Ender universe. Remember, the enemy's gate is always down.
Vernor Vinge£10.99 £10.22
Superhuman intelligences, aliens, awesome physics. Space opera in a nutshell.
Isaac Asimov£8.99 £8.36
Asimov's classic Space Opera - a must read for anyone loving the genre.
Frederik Pohl£9.99 £9.29
Frederick Pohl's grand Space Opera novel.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke£8.99 £8.36
A C Clarke's classic first-contact story is compact, exciting and entirely unforgettable.
Poul Anderson£15.99 £14.87
Space Opera doesn't have to be escapist - it can also be awesome science fiction in its own right, and this is a great example.
Ann Leckie£8.99 £8.36
So many awards and all richly deserved. Combining themes of AI, what it is to be human, and a rocking secondary world, this is modern SF at its best.
The Secret Bookshelf, Carrickfergus