We live in an era of rapid advances and hectic schedules. We admiringly find solace in the rugged simplicity of yore: hence, our love of fantasy. Still, we often ponder the possibilities of our insatiable technological advances: hence, the appeal of science fiction. The "space opera" is a hybrid of the two genres. Like fantasy, it is adventurous and anything is possible. Like science fiction, it is sleek and speculative. At its finest, the "space opera" is the best of both genres from which it is derived. At its worst, it is as ridiculous as fantasy and as presumptuous and boring as speculative fiction.
I am a writer of "space operas." I am mindful of the genre's qualities and wary of its innate weaknesses. I accentuate the thrills and minimize the grandiosity. I love gimmicks. I enjoy an interesting idea. Personalities, however, are the life of any story. My characters are the focus of every narrative. They do what they would do in any genre... but because I give them sleek trappings and put them on exotic worlds, their story is "science fiction." Because their ordeals prove adventurous, they are characters in a "space opera." If only they knew.