Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Coined by fan and writer Wilson "Bob" Tucker in 1941. The term was originally derived from the term horse opera and thus indirectly from soap opera, to describe a specific, hackneyed science fiction writing style.
- (initially derogatory) A subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes space travel, romantic adventure, and larger-than-life characters often set against vast exotic settings.
1941 January, Tucker, "Bob", Le Zombie, number 36, page 9:
- SUGGESTION DEPT: In these hectic days of phrase-coining, we offer one. Westerns are called "horse operas", the morning housewife tear-jerkers are called "soap operas". For the hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn, or world-saving for that matter, we offer "space opera"
- A subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that utilises serialisation.
- (countable) A work or production in this style.
subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that utilizes serialisation