Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Charles Sheffield - Blue Tyson

Charles Sheffield was a solid and productive science fiction novelist, and like his wife of the time Nancy Kress rather better at short fiction. A physicist and mathematician, he also wrote about science from this point of view. He produce more than 20 novels, but around three times that in short stories. It is a pity that a lot of the latter is not available, although you can buy some of the more recent good examples at Fictionwise. There are a few collections of his work available, and the Dr Darwin stories are at Baen, so easy to get.

His Heritage Universe is a good solid series of a motley crew and their explorations and conficts finding out about the Alien Builders. Novels that are better and will likely be of interest to space opera fans with their Solar System exploration settings are those such as Cold As Ice and Starfire as will stories like the Deimos Plauge. Also the shapeshifting detective pursuit of the Proteus series. Then there's the capture the dangerous space alien Nimrod Hunt and associated transformations.

The Bee's Kiss is about a branded space voyeur with a job to do. The Compleat McAndrew is a collection of stories about a genius space adventurer and his pilot partner, and available at Baen webscriptions. The best two of which have him using a small solution to a problem, and discovering a dead ship in space, with AI. There's a piece about his Heritage setting as an example.

The Bee's Kiss


The Compleat McAndrew

Mcandrew And The Fifth Commandment

With McAndrew Out of Focus

The Expanding Heritage Universe