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The term "space opera" was coined in 1941 by fan writer and author Wilson Tucker as a pejorative term in an article in issue 36 of science fiction fanzine Le Zombie . [3] At the time, serial radio dramas in the United States had become popularly known as soap operas because many were sponsored by soap manufacturers. [4] Tucker defined space opera as the science fiction equivalent: a "hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn, spaceship yarn". [5] Even earlier, the term " horse opera " had come into use to describe formulaic Western films . Fans and critics have noted that the plots of space operas have sometimes been taken from horse operas and simply translated into an outer space environment, as famously parodied on the back cover of the first issue of Galaxy Science Fiction . During the late 1920s and early 1930s, when the stories were printed in science-fiction magazines, the stories were often referred to as "super-science epics". [6]

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