Today I was watching my niece, but I took advantage to her tragic addiction to Wild Kratts to do some noodling with Amazon categories. Having realized the hard way that the Trang series is not, in fact, adventure sci-fi, I've been classifying it as general sci-fi. But now that I actually have two books out and it is actually a series, I e-mailed Amazon asking that it be placed as well into the Kindle category "Science Fiction: Series," which still has less than 200 books.

Oddly enough, there is no "Science Fiction: Series" category for paper books. (Why not, I do not know.) That was kind of a bummer because there are freaking 86,419 paper books classified as general science fiction. But in the paper books categories there is a subcategory "Science Fiction: Space Opera," which has over 5,000 books--still a lot, but better than 86K, am I right? (No? That's still too many books for it to matter? Have you tried shutting up?)

And I was like, "Space opera? Didn't some of the people who reviewed Trang call it a space opera?"

The thing is (and according to Wikipedia, this dates me) I never considered calling something a space opera any kind of compliment. Space opera = soap opera in space = histrionics and bad dialogue.

But apparently kids these days (like Brian Aldiss, who should get off my lawn) use space opera to mean "the good old stuff." (Hey, aren't I marketing these books as 1960s retro sci-fi? I believe I am!) And if you're going to define it as "colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set . . . in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone" I'll definitely take it!

("Military space opera," One of my beta readers thought Trust would appeal to military readers, but my concern is that most of the problems in the series are solved via diplomacy--i.e. talking, not shooting--which is likely to annoy most fans of military SF.)

Most important, if you look again at first page or two of the books categorized as space opera on Amazon: Ender's Game, The Hitchhiker's Guide, The Martian Chronicles, Hyperion, a Vorkosigan saga book--need I mention that these are all books I love?

OK. It's on the to-do list--when I input the latest corrections, I shall re-classify both Trang and Trust opera! I fully expect Opera Man to swoosh through wearing deely boppers when I do.