Have Ship, Will Travel

An SRP Anthology

Space Opera Science Fiction Anthology

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Adventures among the stars need a ship to get you there.

Stories Rule Press presents Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will Travel

Space Opera heroes and heroines explore the stars and discover cool new places in ships which range from beat-up rust-buckets to sleek technologically advanced craft that are the envy of the galaxy. Space ships are quintessential for the adventures and challenges our favourite characters face.

Come and explore over 400 pages of worlds of wonder and the ships our heroes fly with Stories Rule Press’ 2022 edition of Space Opera Digest.

Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will Travel
is the second volume in a quarterly collection of genre fiction anthologies presented by Stories Rule Press.

“Sole Survivor” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Captain” by Stephen Sottong
“Big Top” by Sonia Orin Lyris
“Cycle Three” by Stephanie Mylchreest
“Star Cruise” by Ron Collins
“Watch of the Starsleepers” by Christopher D. Schmitz
“Tome Raiders” by Eric Del Carlo
“The Passenger” by Eve Morton
“An Ordinary World” by J. L. Royce
“Insanity is Infectious” by Cameron Cooper
“Achernar” by Jasmine Luck
“Moby Dick’s Doors” by Michèle Laframboise
“Learning Curve” by Neil Williams
“Exotic Matters” by Phil Giunta
“An icub on Mars” by Barbara G. Tarn
“Of Hedgehogs and Humans” by Rob Nisbet
“Smugglers Blues” by Blaze Ward
“Altered Skin” by Sara C. Walker
“An Unexpected Taste of Home” by Terry Mixon
“Symphony” by Douglas Smith

Space Opera Science Fiction Anthology

Stories Rule Press is a family-run micropress in Alberta, Canada, working as a cooperative to bring great story-tellers together and assist them with publication.

Editor Tracy Cooper-Posey is one of the original authors with Stories Rule Press. She writes across several fiction genres, including space opera under two different pen names, and grew up reading classic science fiction.

This Anthology is one of several presented by Stories Rule Press Inc. Check out the rest here!

Space Opera Digest 2021: Fight or Flight
Christmas Romance Digest 2021: Home for the Holidays
Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will Travel

{Also see: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller, Space Opera, Story Collections, SRP Anthologies}



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Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will Travel
Average rating:  
 5 reviews
 by Dina Bushrod
Is the feared Emperor Ramaker back from the dead?

It's been a while since I visited Danny's world and it was nice getting back to it. I'm always amazed at how much an author can say in a short story. In these few pages, we've run into prejudice, the possible return of an old fear, love of family, and maybe a growing acceptance of a new branch of humanity that started as technology. After you read this be sure to start both The Imperial Hammer and The Iron Hammer Series and discover the exciting sci-fi world of Danny Andela. Now which great story should I read next?

 by Susanne
Great Diversity

I haven´t read SF for a long time, so this anthology came at the right moment to start this genre again. What a great diversity! Some stories are suspenseful, some with humor, even some with love. I enjoyed all of them very much and will look for other stories of a few of these authors. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader copy of this book.

 by Christy
lots of fun

I really liked this collection of stories based on a ship theme. They were all short stories but all were different yet entertaining to read. Some made me laugh and some roll my eyes but I had to keep reading to see what the next story was. Danger, action, and silliness occurred often. Some stories had one character while others had crews. I found many of the AI to be hilarious and all a bit different. Enjoyed the anthology. Worth reading if you like a good space story.

 by Marti Panikkar
Best Anthology Ever

I don’t care much for anthologies BUT I love Cameron Cooper’s writing & have great respect for Stories Rule Press, so I gave this Digest a whirl. It is one of the BEST COMPILATIONS of short stories I’ve ever read. Don’t miss it!
I reviewed an Advance Reader copy of this book.

 by Kathi Soniat
Exciting Collection of Sci-Fi Entertainment!!

Sole Survivor — Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Takara Hamasaki is hiding after a starbase explosion. Multiple series of identical men enter; designer criminal clones. Tense!
Captain —- Stephen Sottong
“How’d the trading go, Captain?” Emma’s voice always had a sultry purr which could almost turn me on. I extracted a small box from my inner jacket pocket and placed it on the counter. “Great. I traded the hybrid 437 corn for Silk Fruit seeds.”

“Captain,” of course, was an honorific. Emma, the ship’s AI, handled everything. Space Patrol demanded having a human on board for rare, unexpected contingencies.

Then a hull breach - with an interesting result.
Big Top —- Sonia Orin Lyris
Ariana Marlan Rumala inherited her father’s ship Big Top from her father. With an unusual mix of crew, and without two pennies to rub together. A Flux ship, which required special handling.

An on-time bonus is the only reason she hopes she can keep things together and afford to keep the ship. Interference creates a mysterious delay.
Cycle Three — Stephanie Mylchreest
Natalie is desperate to leave her ship. An opportunity to “win/earn” a few years on Earth is all she has worked for. Her Captain Eric prevents this.

An unexpected ally gives her the courage to try again. Fascinating story.
Star Cruise — Ron Collins
A father/son bonding opportunity turns out to be much much more.

A special request from the captain: “I’ve received a report that Universe Three has slipped an agent on board. I’d like you to determine who it is.” “Interesting.” Father furrowed his well-trimmed brow. “A U3 mole.”

Quite the intrigue.
Watch of the Starsleepers — Christopher D. Schmitz
What does it mean to be human? From the viewpoint of clones who are identified in series. Provocative and interesting.
Tome Raiders. — Eric Del Carlo
Matchstick and Hitchcock are coming into their own. An interesting bet puts them to the test.
Some pun-worthy space items, and a good mystery.
The Passenger —. Eve Morton
An interesting stowaway might eat Paulo’s cargo. The solution to paper bugs is leather rats, and then a kitten to later handle them. Irony at its best.
An Ordinary World —. J. L. Royce
A female captain, and a male AI - who provides many functions on the ship. An update with unintended results, and discovery of a new world.
Insanity is Infectious —. Cameron Cooper
Very clever addition to Cameron’s Imperial Hammer series.
The nanobots are creating the form of a dangerous ruler from their recent war; except he has been dead for many years now. Sighting by one crew member may be a mistake, but when others also experience this - the mystery deepens.
Achernar — Jasmine Luck
A Captain pilots a ship with a failing engine. A mechanic who needs to send funds to her ahma. Neither trust easily; can they become a team?
Moby Dick’s Doors — Michèle Laframboise
Pilot Rusty, navigator Jamine and the captain run upon emergency hatch Door S-76 shutting them off from the rest of the ship. Doors have intelligence and can speak a response. A puzzle keeping their AI in a loop, and a possible emergency. Not to mention a fair number of Moby Dick puns. Delightful.
Learning Curve – Neil Williams
Our main character awakens in a cell chained to a bed. The importance of knowing each planet's laws and regulations. Will her partner be able to find and resume her?
Exotic Matters – Phil Giunta
Much is packed into this short story. A seemingly abandoned freighter, with valuable Star Falls on it. They are not the only ones after the cargo. Very well done.
An iCub on Mars – Barbara G. Tarn
Selected people sent to colonize Mars. Told from the point of view of their icub. A new start is not what it seems if you take your prejudices with you.
Of Hedgehogs and Humans – Rob Nisbet
After a series of extinction events, a ship and crew work on a fresh start.
Smugglers Blues – Blaze Ward
Loved this surprising gem. Reminds me of the tale of a wheelbarrow full of sand taken out of an area - and the search through the sand for hidden objects…. They were stealing wheelbarrows.
Altered Skin – Sara C. Walker
A ship found adrift. Full fuel, intact, good air, and meals left half-eaten. The answer leaves one person with a tough side-effect. Very inventive.
An Unexpected Taste of Home – Terry Mixon
A ship’s crew of an experienced Borelian Zag and newbie human Zig must solve a puzzle before they can get their ship reconfigured on this water planet. Ironically the puzzle relies on a female Borelian. It’s a great story.
Symphony – Douglas Smith
A new planet Aurora. Gar, a communications officer, his wife Clara and young autistic son Anton travel on The Last Chance in the hunt for a habitable planet leaving a poisoned Earth behind. A series of events are not accidents, there is a sentience involved. Music is intertwined into the solution. Loved the tie in.

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Early Influences

An introduction by Tracy Cooper-Posey

I grew up in a tiny wheat-belt town called Cadoux, in Western Australia.  There were five houses, three stores, the A-Grade wheat silo next to the rail line, a three-room school that I attended for seven years, and a nondenominational church that I don’t remember ever stepping inside of. 

And there was the sports ground (a graded gravel football field/cricket pitch, and tarmac tennis courts) with a pavilion that was the center of social life for farmers in the area.

All the kids I went to school with lived on farms, except for three brothers who lived behind one of the other two stores (my parents own the first). 

The boys wouldn’t play with me, a mere girl.  We had no television.  But one day I found the very small collection of books for sale in my parents’ store.  From that day on, I was a voracious reader, inhaling every story I could get my hands on.

Several years after Cadoux was all but wiped out by a massive earthquake, I was acquainted with John Wyndham’s thoughtful science fiction and was blown away.  In the same year, Star Wars was released.  It wasn’t called A New Hope, then, and Han Solo did, too, shoot first.  In fact, he was the only one to fire. 

Science fiction of any kind became the staple in my reading diet, but Star Wars taught me to relax and enjoy the fun stuff. 

Acquiring SF was a challenge. The town we moved to after Cadoux did have a public library, and it was on the library shelves I found all the classic SF, including Asimov and Heinlein, plus a great many Golden Age anthologies.  The secondhand bookstore (all I could afford as a teenager) also offered classics and my personal collection began to build.

My love of short stories solidified with that early exposure.  And my love of SF has never waned. 

So I was very pleased to be able to put together this collection of space opera short stories from contemporary writers.  I had first intended to collect around twelve stories, but ended up with twenty excellent stories that range from pure fun, to laugh out-loud, to character studies which leave you deep in though.  All of them feature ships with cool characteristics…or are characters of their own.


Tracy Cooper-Posey
January 2022


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