- “Mayflower II” by Stephen Baxter
In this story, a Locus Award finalist, one thousand people aboard five generation starships leave the Sol system to flee an enemy that threatens to destroy their way of life.
- “On the Orion Line” by Stephen Baxter
In this story, nominated for a Hugo Award, a soldier fights for survival behind enemy lines, on an alien vessel, thousands of light-years from Earth.
- “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
In this story, a Locus Award finalist, space pirates haul in booty aboard a living spaceship that doesn’t quite smell right.
- “By the Warmth of Their Calculus” by Tobias S. Buckell
The captain of a dustship musters her crew to escape from a trap set by Hunter-Killers in a game of cat and mouse amid the rings of a giant planet.
- “Weep for Day” by Indrapramit Das
A woman recalls a childhood train journey, on a planet with a permanent dayside and a nightside of eternal darkness, to see a captured specimen of the Nightmare race.
- “Glory” by Greg Egan
In this story, nominated for a Hugo Award, mathematicians seek to learn more from a civilization, on another planet, that spent three million years doing math.
- “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman
In this story, nominated for a Nebula Award , an alienated teenager, in a domed iron city on a planet where a fundamentalist revolt is brewing, seeks to uncover her enigmatic tutor’s long-held secret.
- “Saving Tiamaat“ by Gwyneth Jones
Human diplomats must deal their own cultural biases while dealing with two representatives from warring factions on a newly discovered planet.
- “Someday” by James Patrick Kelly
In this story, a Locus Award finalist, peculiar mating rituals and divergent evolution have developed on a lost colony that has been out of contact with the rest of humanity.
- “Jonas and the Fox” by Rich Larson
An enemy of the revolution, on a colonized planet, uploads a digital copy of himself into the body of a braindead boy in an attempt to escape off-world.
- “Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee
In this story nominated for a Hugo Award and set in the author’s Machineries of Empire universe, an undercover agent infiltrates a space station to recover the crew of a lost ship.
- “Dead Men Walking” by Paul McAuley
In this story, a Locus Award finalist, programmed military doppelgängers continue to carry out their missions long after the Quiet War’s end.
- “The City of the Dead” by Paul McAuley
The constable in a settlement on a planet full of the tombs of a long-vanished alien race befriends a woman who researches dangerous hive rats.
- “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald
In this story, a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist, an aristocrat’s trip to Venus, in search of her disgraced brother, is memorialized by papercuts of flora native to the planet.
- “The Third Party” by David Moles
Two rival space-faring cultures vie for influence over the people of a forgotten human world.
- “The Hero” by Karl Schroeder
A dying young man on a treasure hunt tries to save a world that’s devoid of gravity and lit by artificial suns.
- “Bright Red Star” by Bud Sparhawk
Modified combat troops must deal with recalcitrant settlers on a planet being attacked by hostile aliens.
- “The Days Between” by Allen M. Steele
In this story, nominated for both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award, a man aboard a ship in deep space wakes up from biostasis at the wrong time.
- “Slow Life” by Michael Swanwick
In this Hugo Award winning story, an astronaut in a damaged balloon struggles to survive eight hundred meters above the surface of a sea on Titan.
- “The Island” by Peter Watts
In this Hugo Award winning story, an eternal aboard a slower than light ship is woken to investigate an unexplained signal emanating from the area of the ship’s next stargate construction site.
The 2020 Look at Space Opera Book
This collection presents 20 of the best space operas published over the past 20 years in more or less chronological order and edited by Allan Kaster.
Authors: Allen M. Steele, Bud Sparhawk, Carolyn Ives Gilman, David Moles, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Egan, Gwyneth Jones, Ian McDonald, Indrapramit Das, James Patrick Kelly, Karl Schroeder, Michael Swanwick, Paul McAuley, Peter Watts, Rich Larson, Sarah Monette, Stephen Baxter, Tobias S. Buckell, Yoon Ha Lee Category: Space Operas