Favorite space opera & military science fiction

Top TenTop Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week we talk about our all-time favorite books in a genre of our choice. I’ve decided to talk about my favorite space opera and military science fiction books.

I lump these two genres together because they so often overlap. I think almost every military science fiction is space opera. And many space operas also involve military.

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, as well as chivalric romance, and often risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology. (from wikipedia)

Military science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that features the use of science fiction technology, mainly weapons, for military purposes and usually principal characters that are members of a military organization involved in military activity; occurring sometimes in outer space or on a different planet or planets. It exists in literature, comics, film and video games. (from wikipedia)

My choices:

The Warrior’s Apprentice

  • by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Vorkosigan Saga #2
  • This series is a favorite of mine and this is the book where I fell in love with Miles Vorkosigan and the way he can reinvent himself. Even though he has severe physical limitations he’s able to become a warrior and military leader.
  • Space opera and military science fiction also.

Old Man’s Warold-mans-war

  • by John Scalzi
  • The first book in the Old Man’s War series is my favorite.
  • Very inventive. I thought the idea to use old men and women from earth to fight mankind’s wars is very interesting. How the space military manage to turn them into soldiers is fascinating. The characters–the old soldiers–make the book great, too!

Marque and Reprisal

  • by Elizabeth Moon
  • Book 2 of Vatta’s War
  • Elizabeth Moon has written several series. I have read all of them and love them all. (Though I have decided I need to reread some of them!)
  • I would classify this as space opera with some military science fiction overtones.

Agent of Change

  • by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  • Liaden Universe #9
  • There are so many books in this series I love. Lee and Miller have created a great universe and their books span generations within one family. I really like the characters in this book. I think it’s my favorite in this series, but it’s hard to choose.
  • Space opera

The Price of the Starsprice-of-the-stars

  • by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald
  • Mageworlds #1
  • Such a fun series. Lots goes on in these books.
  • Space opera


  • by Ernest Cline
  • A rare stand-alone book
  • Videogames are the perfect training ground for the military…right?!!
  • Military science fiction (and space opera)

Valor’s Choice

  • by Tanya Huff
  • Confederation #1
  • Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr is such a great character. She epitomizes what you hope an NCO is for her troops and for her officers.
  • Military sci fi and space opera.

Honor’s Knight

  • by Rachel Bach
  • Paradox book 2
  • It took me until the second book to be totally sold on this series, but Devi Morris won me over in this book!
  • Space opera with a little military science fiction vibe

Terms of Enlistment

  • by Marko Kloos
  • Frontlines #1
  • This was one of my favorite books in 2013. Especially good book about the life of a military recruit in basic training.
  • Military science fiction (and space opera)redshirts


  • by John Scalzi
  • Standalone
  • Such a fun book. John Scalzi is one of my favorite authors!
  • Space opera

What about you? Do you like science fiction? Space opera? Military science fiction? What are your favorites?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

8 thoughts on “Favorite space opera & military science fiction”

  1. I love your list and know and love many of your choices:)). I also agree with your definitions of space opera/military sci fi – there is a degree of overlap. I also have some additional suggestions, but I think I’m going to write my own top ten… I don’t know The Price of Stars, but I’ll certainly be adding it to my TBR list, thanks to your recommendation:)).


  2. Love your list! I’ve only fairly recently really gotten into military/space opera sci-fi so this list is really, really helpful as I’ve only read two of these books. (Elizabeth Moon’s series – which is where I started with sci-fi and read YEARS ago – and Tanya Huff’s series – which I love and am currently reading the third book in.) I’ve also got the first in Rachel Bach’s series just waiting for me. I am definitely going to check the rest of these books out because they sound great!


  3. I hadn’t realised there were so many books similarly themed and would not have even thought of that theme. (I’m such a not-outside-the-box thinker!)

    I’ve heard of Scalzi but none of the others!


    1. Yes, Scalzi is quite famous since he’s won several awards in recent years. Military sci fi and space opera is popular and has been around for quite awhile. I think it’s a little easier to get into if you haven’t read much science fiction.


  4. Good list – I haven’t read ARMADA (it’s on my Kindle) or REDSHIRTS yet, but I was nodding as I read through all the rest!


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