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simonalexander2005

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Space Opera
« on: January 18, 2010, 07:46:47 pm »
hey :)

I love this genre of book, treating it as the sci-fi equivalent of a light summer read.

For those that are fans of the genre, here's a comic "script" for an "opera" written in the style, with some advice on how to write your own: (from http://www.z9m9z.demon.co.uk/filk/opera.txt)

Quote
This particular example is located in the year 2027 (not that this is
relevent). As you know, you always have to start with the hero becoming
a Captain at an early age. All the crew must be the same - and at most
two-dimensional.

- The Crew - [opening chorus song]

We are the crew of the Dentless,
If you want to know who we are,
We put on airs 'cos our Captain there
Was appointed ex machina,
And you're never disappointed when your Captain was appointed,
By an alien ex machina

We're on the side of order,
All other star nations we shun,
But to keep our niche we must stay very rich,
Our battlefleet for to run.
And it isn't very funny when you've lots and lots of money
To be beaten up by those with none,
Be beaten up by those with none.

- The story is as follows -

The People's Brotherhood of Boskonia has got a new secret weapon, and is
liable to wipe out the Galactic Federation unless they can get hold of
it pretty quickly. Of course they're far too heroic to try and duplicate
the system, so all that is left is to send their newest Knight, Hiro
Ranger, to go and steal it - they're allowed to do this because they're
card-carrying Forces of Good (tm). While they're building a star ship
for Hiro, we see the the Forces of Evil attacking an innocent passenger
ship and taking prisoner the sole survivor, a nurse named Chris. Chris
is the helpless type that always has to be rescued in these stories.

- Chris's story - [soprano solo]

Tyrannous ship, whose beams cut and burned,
Filling my life with such privation,
My dear home star, how can I return,
With all that I now know about this station?
How.... easy 'twould be to escape I know,
If I were a Knight with staff all aglow,
I'd escape here still, if not for one flaw,
I'm stuck in this room,
And they have shut the door.

- The Knight -

The person who will be sneaking into the station is of course the lead,
Hiro Ranger. Now it's absolutely obligatory that the lead get roughed up
in personal combat in a Space Opera. Usually accompanied by a marine or
some such aid.

- Hiro's investigation begins - [aria in 6/8]

If you want to infiltrate you must begin your quest in a bar,
If you don't act evil your chances are not worth a dime,
You may bend your moral code because of the person you are,
Your job is more important than any petty crime.
Oh... a bar brawl here, a grand theft there, and off I go,
I may bend my moral code 'cos of the staff that I bear,
My job is more important than, anything else at this time,
Anything else at this time
For I am Grey.

- The baddie (boo!) -

The man he is going up against is Citizen Supreme President Amos
Gharlane, the Great Villain. He is the little man who hides inside a
biiiiig battlestation and directs the activities of the People's
Brotherhood. At this point in the plot, we hear how he became the Big
Villain. (Comments in brackets are made by underlings out of the bosses
earshot)

- Amos Gharlane tells his story - [patter song]

I lost both of my parents when I killed them at the age of six
My success is due entirely to my total lack of ethics,
Once I nearly went to prison for an incident in Essex
But I killed off half the jury and escaped again.

I started as a gangster with a power so despotic,
That the money kept on climbing and my taste became exotic,
Then I made a lot of money on a very nice narcotic,
I'm that fabulous phenonemon, the Great Villain.

(His amazing garrulosity is really quite hysterical,
this extroverted psychopath the Great Villain)

- More of the baddie than you could possibly want -

Now, this character always goes over his plots in tedious detail,
whether you want him to or not, so I guess we may well have it.

- Amos Gharlane Plots - [encore]

To found a stellar empire of very great longevity,
I'll wipe out all the others with my cosmic-powered entity,
And set up traps for those who would threaten my eternity,
The battle shall commence just after this refrain.

But all these machinations leave a feeling of futility,
I'm stuck inside this space station until I reach senility,
I murder anyone who doesn't treat me with civility,
I am a very paranoid Great Villain.

(His lordship is now terrified to ever leave his fortress,
he's never had a holiday the poor Villain)

- The Attack is Prepared -

Due to spectacular incompetence at this point, the hapless Chris
discovers that the room is not, in fact, a maximum security cell; and
that the door can be opened simply by walking up to it and making
"shooosh"ing noises. Desperately looking for more trouble to get into,
Chris goes wandering the base, and finds the Mad Scientists (tm)
preparing the Cosmic Entity Ultimate Weapon (tm).

You will have to excuse me at this point; I'm not particularly good at
portraying characters who think in the symbology of higher mathematics.

- The Mad Scientists' Quartet -

1> See this tool of matchless power,
2> Completed it is now surely,
1> Harnasses the ancient Fury,
3> Made to make our foemen cower,
4> integral d phi by x
2> No more they'll doubt our abil'ty,
   this shows we have lost our san'ty,
4> false plus false not implies true
3> But three lefts do make a right.

All> Mua ha ha ha ha!

- Suddenly -

Well, Chris gets captured at this point, of course, and is just about to
watch the Destruction of All Life As We Know It (tm) when who should
turn up but Norbert. He is the inept henchman that the baddie keeps
around solely to explain all his plans to for our benefit, and for the
good guys to outwit and/or outfight. He stops the countdown because, he
says, he has a message for the Supreme President, assisted by the crew.

- Norbert's message - [powerful contralto backed by chorus]

Hold! A red light on my desk!
A black disgrace, what will the President think of me,
He paid me money to watch these instruments,
When he finds out he will curse, but to mess up I never meant...

The Cosmic Babe he trusted to my care,
"Watch these lights", so all I did was stare,
The first I knew that something had gone wrong
Was a blinking screen saying "Thank you, and so long."

(Was a blinking screen saying "Thank you, and so long.")

I touched some keys, and hit one I should not,
To read the labels well I quite forgot,
The board first lit up, then all at once went dark,
Now all that's left's a cloud of random quarks.

(*GASP!* Now all that's left is just some random quarks)

- The denoument -

Well naturally it's Hiro Ranger who did the sabotage, and in the
confusion he rescues Chris and they flee for the protection of
Civilisation's Thirty Seventh Fleet in a small scout ship, hotly pursued
by all of the People's Brotherhood of Boskonia's forces who are not
quite fast enough to catch them, leading to the free for all at the end.

Polychromatic beams wink out between monstrous ships separated by the
unimaginable distances of the void; missiles gouge and tear with the
cataclysmic detonation of gravitonic and atomic thunder; smaller ships
dart hither and yon, looking for damaged larger ships to finish off;
purple and orange energy fields lash out against defensive screens
already radiating high in the ultra violet; gold and red squadrons swarm
over the surface of great behemoths, trying to fire photon torpedoes
down particle-shielded exhaust ports; entire fleets get blown out of the
ether, and generally the entire special effects budget gets blown on one
mind-numbingly unrealistic battle.

- The Epic Battle (tm) - [the free for all with everyone at the end]

HP> I am the one who saved the day, I killed the Cosmic Babe,
C > Oh ectasy I soon will be back home and once more safe,
AG> This defeat really was a pain, I'll have to build my fleet again,
    They haven't seen the final act of me,
N > I hope they'll be delighted still when they find it's traditional
    That in the end these stories come in - ah hah! - threes!

Now girls and boys, you're all equipped,
The words don't matter now just write a script,
And you, and you, know what to do,
Go home and write a cosmic opera too.

You'll need a dashing young leader to capture each reader,
Who's noble if just a bit stupid,
A star fleet to smash everything that they meet
And someone with whom to play cupid,

You'll need a few million guys who are just there to die,
To be killed not in ones but in job lots,
A tremendous old foe, for his evil to show,
And the hero to smash into compost.

The bad guys are only around to get shot,
So their weaponry doesn't much matter,
But it's great to make suns out of every one
With your warheads full of antimatter!
So if they're psychotic or merely neurotic,
And if you've a hero who counts down to zero,
While you're awaitin' the book with part eight in,
Get out of Sol system by writing a fictional novelette,
A novelette!

p.s I am currently in the process of taking their advice and "writing a fictional novelette". beta to come here first, for those that are interested!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 07:49:03 pm by simonalexander05 »