Space Opera by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, editors
Space OperaWhat a wonderful collection of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories based around the theme of music and singing. Top authors in the field and relatively unknown authors were asked to submit short stories around the motif.
The result is a collection of stories that could happen now with a paranormal twist, out in space, or in a created fantasy world. Old folktales are retold. Mysteries are solved. Bravery and the indominantable human spirit continue to shine. Lovers are united, and sometimes broken apart. While all the stories fit into the science fiction/fantasy genre, all ends of the spectrum are covered.
Some of the stories stand out. One of my favorites was by Jody Lynn Nye, “Calling Them Home.” The person in a “lighthouse” in space has to guide ships through space storms. Alan Dean Foster returns to the folklore of Africa in “The Impossible Place.” In “A Hole in the Sky” Margaret Ball has music holding the world together. “Soulfedge Rock” caught my imagination as Suzette Haden Elgin uses music for aphasic people to communicate. All of the stories struck a chord in me. Even the one in which I did not care for the writing style, “The Last Song of Sirit Byar” by Peter S. Beagle, has an ending to wrench the fancy.
Because this is a group of short stories, it is easy to put Space Opera down when you are busy. Once involved in a story, though, you won’t want to put it down until that story is done. I started to buy this used copy of Space Opera for my brother, then decided I would appreciate it more. Maybe I’ll lend it to him!