The Vela is the latest in Serial Box’s slate of speculative fiction offerings. This one’s space opera, with an approach to politics ever so slightly reminiscent of James S.A. Corey’s Expanse. Its concept is credited to Lydia Shamah, Serial Box’s director of original content, but its execution is down to an award-class writing team: Becky Chambers, Yoon Ha Lee, Rivers Solomon, and S.L. Huang. All of their individual talents combine to make The Vela a potent brew.
Normally space opera is operaticin the grand sense: noisy, colourful, full of sound and fury. But it’s interesting to look at novels that aren’t flashyin this way—that are quiet, and in many ways feel domestic, enclosed—and yet still feel like space opera.