Grifters – or those who make personal income off notorious schemes – often wind up in charge of things.
So it’s no wonder that there are stories written about the Art of the Grift throughout space opera.
(Heck, they even write about prostitution, so…)
But in our own day, these can be used as a satirical looking glass at our own times. Even though these stories were written by authors long dead, and about times and places not seen by any human eye.
The trick is what to do with a grifter out for his own good, but running the lives of others.
Maybe this satire anthology can help you find answers…
Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.
The term has no relation to music, as in a traditional opera, but is instead a play on the terms “soap opera”, a melodramatic television series, and “horse opera”, which was coined during the 1930s to indicate a formulaic Western movie. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television, and video games.
The Golden Age of Pulp Magazine Fiction derives from pulp magazines (often referred to as “the pulps”) as they were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called “glossies” or “slicks”.
The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were proving grounds for those authors like Robert Heinlein, Louis LaMour, “Max Brand”, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and many others. The best writers moved onto longer fiction required by paperback publishers. Many of these authors have never been out of print, even long after their passing.
Grifters’ Asteroid by H. L. Gold
Skin Game by Charles E. Fritch
Birds of a Feather by Robert Silverberg
Innocent at Large by Karen Anderson & Poul Anderson
A Little Journey by Ray Bradbury
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