The imminent release of Prometheus prompted Lev Grossman to write about “space opera” for the June 11 issue of Time Magazine (Into The Void, subscription required).
And Grossman remembered to pay homage to fan who coined the term, Bob Tucker —
But the term space opera was originally meant as an insult. It was coined in 1941 by Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker, a novelist and influential science-fiction fan who wrote in his fanzine Le Zombie, “Westerns are called ‘horse operas,’ the morning house wife tear-jerkers are called ‘soap operas.’ For the hacky, grinding, outworn space-ship yarn, or world-saving for that matter, we offer ‘space opera.’”
[Thanks to Chronicles of the Dawn Patrol for the story.]