Anyone looking for good science fiction and who also likes space-opera then you can not go past Alaister Reynolds. Writing on a grand scale, with world shattering events, Reynolds is a master of action, while making the reader think about philosophical issues. Revelation Space, Absolution Gap, and his latest The Prefect are all great examples of this.
If you pick up one of his books be prepared to be taken on a ride that will leave you breathless, and not just because you had to carry these 500 page tomes home! Don't be afraid by the size of these novels though, trust me, they will fly.