The incredibly-well read and well-spoken Rick Kleffel and I discuss space opera today on the Agony Column podcast. Rick was enthused by reading Brian Greene's Icarus at the Edge of Timeand Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star,neither of which I've read, but both of which sound right up my alley. So we talked about these works, about John Meaney's Nulapeiron Sequence, about Kay Kenyon's The Entire and the Rose series, about the general qualities of space opera, and about the differences between Star Wars and Star Trek, and whether Trek is space opera or military SF. Here's the direct link to the mp3, and you can also subscribe via iTunes.
Which you should. Rick is an amazing interviewer, asking really insightful questions, and his podcast covers a wide range of book-related topics. He covers enough works of a science fiction nature that I can justify my time as keeping me informed about the rest of the field, and enough works outside it that I don't get myopic. For example: My favorite in recent weeks, his interview with Charles Bamforth, 30 year head of research for Bass and the author of Grape vs. Grain: A Historical, Technological, and Social Comparison of Wine and Beer.And here's the direct link for that.