Compound of space + opera. Coined by fan and writer Wilson "Bob" Tucker in 1941. The term was originally derived from the term horse opera and thus indirectly from soap opera, to describe a specific, hackneyed science fiction writing style.
- (initially derogatory) A subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes space travel, romantic adventure, and larger-than-life characters often set against vast exotic settings.
1941 January, Tucker, "Bob", Le Zombie, number 36, page 9:
- SUGGESTION DEPT: In these hectic days of phrase-coining, we offer one. Westerns are called "horse operas", the morning housewife tear-jerkers are called "soap operas". For the hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn, or world-saving for that matter, we offer "space opera"
- A subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that utilises serialisation.
- (countable) A work or production in this style.
subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that utilizes serialisation