Space Opera

Space Opera

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets the joy and glamour of Eurovision in bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente's science fiction spectacle, where sentient races compete for glory in a galactic musical contest…and the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.

Mankind must sing—not fight—for its destiny.

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly abolished intelligent space-faring life for good. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented by the remnants of civilization...something to cheer up everyone who was left…something to celebrate having escaped total annihilation by the skin of one’s teeth—if one has skin. Or teeth. Something to bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, understanding, and the most powerful connection of all social bonds: the exclusion of select others.

Once every cycle, the great galactic civilizations gather for Galactivision—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza—and part continuation of the wars of the past. The powerful species that have survived compete in feats, not of orbital combat, but of song, dance—and whatever facsimile of these can be performed by various creatures who may or may not possess feet, mouths, larynxes, or faces (at least not in the traditional sense). And if a new species should wish to be counted among the high and the mighty, if a new planet has produced some savage group of animals, machines, or algae that claim to be, against all odds, sentient? Well, then they will have to compete. And if they have any hope of participating in the greater culture of the interstellar empire, they must not only compete, but win. If a species fails to do so or refuses to enter, they will be quickly exterminated by the powers as to avoid another costly Sentience War. It’s a mercy, really. One must always think of the greater good.

Thus, a fragile peace has held.

This year, a bizarre and unsightly species has looked up from its muddy planet-bound cradle and noticed the enormous universe blaring on around it: humanity. Where they expected to one day reach out into space and discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of grave aliens, they have found glitter. And lipstick. And pyrotechnics. And electric guitars.

A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent their planet on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of Earth lies in their ability to rock.
  • Saga Press | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481497503 | 
  • December 2018
List Price $14.99 (price may vary by retailer)
Ships on or around December 18, 2018
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The Glass Town Game
The Refrigerator Monologues
Six-Gun Snow White
The Melancholy of Mechagirl

About the Author

Catherynne M. Valente
Courtesy of the author

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the acclaimed author of The Glass Town Game, and a New York Times bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, and has won the Locus and Andre Norton award. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, one enormous cat, a less enormous cat, six chickens, a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, and an Oxford English Dictionary. Visit her at