(Psst – stick around for the end of this post. You might win something…)
There's a growing trend out there among romance authors - everyone wants to jump on the Science Fiction Romance bandwagon, er, starship.
This should make me deliriously happy. It should. I've been a science fiction fan since I could read (this, my dears, is a very long time) and have spent decades enduring the derisive and sometimes nasty comments from other readers and writers about geek fiction and "that kind" of fiction and so on.
So the rise in interest should make me dance with joy, right? In many way, yes, of course. It means more publishers are taking an interest, it means more people are reading SF. (Woohoo!)
However... (show of hands - who knew that was coming?)
I recently saw a review of an SFR which I won't name in which the reviewer (also not named) said he/she liked how it was all about the characters and the science fiction didn't intrude on the story.
Here's the thing - in SF, the science is half the point. If you ignore it, push it to the side, have a romance where there really is no science, where you just happened to stick in a couple spaceships and badly-crafted alien races, what's the point? SF without science is just...F. It could take place anywhere. It could be fantasy or paranormal or regular contemp instead. Might as well have your setting down the street at Joe’s Diner instead of Alpha Centauri. Why bother?
You need the science. Doesn't have to be physics. There are all sorts of possibilities. Biology, immunology, anthropology, xeno-studies, sociology, psychology - I'm not picky, but it's not SF without some speculation regarding what could be.
There are tons of romance readers out there who would disagree with me, I know. *shrugs* I’m a geek and a bit odd, but I like running across innovation and thoughtful world-building when I read. SF stories with romances in them, rather than the other way 'round. For my first erotic SFR, I tried my level best not to throw the science out with the bathwater, so to speak. The reader will find new tech along with the romance, new worlds along with the sexual tension. Promise.
Space Opera is fun, don't get me wrong. I like a good, rollicking SO from time to time, too. But don't go halfway if you want to call it SF. Build, think, speculate, then write, don't just hang a regular romance off the fins of a shiny starship.
"Get involved in this, in any way, it's going to bite you so hard on the ass you'll never be able to sit down again."
Captain Drummond's words of advice quickly become prophetic. One bitter, failed fighter pilot with a bad neuro-implant, one shattered, lost mercenary who's not sure if he's just caused a bloody catastrophe, one quirky, talented crew, one power-mad admiral, and a mysterious planet in the quarantined zone - all blenderized together for your reading pleasure.
Join Isaac, Turk and the intrepid crew of the Hermes on their first journey. You might be surprised at how far it will take you.
Leave a comment (go on, you know you want to J ) for a chance to win Angel Martinez’s new M/M SFR, Gravitational Attraction!