Monday, March 12, 2012

SFR (Science Fiction Romance) Does the R really trump the SF? Gravitational Attraction

(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.

Gravitational Attraction

"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!

Silver Publishing:


Melisse Aires said...

One thing we're seeing in SFR is a whole range of story types, from character driven, to space opera, to military SFR, to apocalyptic SFR, erotic, sweet and in between. Truly a wide range is getting published now, so there are stories for many reading preferences!

lexcade said...

I have to agree with you. I LOVE science fiction. I love stuff like Star Wars, where there's technology and action and where the science matters. I'm actually not a fan of where the R intrudes on the SF. Science first.

I'm writing a space SFR right now, and I'm not sure how much the R is going to play into it at this point. There will *be* a romance of some sort, but priorities, man. It's freaking SPACE. I need some exploration!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I think your key comment is 'it's not SF without some speculation regarding what could be'.

When I was growing up, SFF was science fiction and fantasy. Now it seems SFF is just part of SF which, to my surprise when I learned in the last few years, actually means speculative fiction and not science fiction (who knew? not me!). And they key word in that is 'speculative' fiction.

If it's not speculative, it's not specualtive fiction. And since science fiction is part of the speculative fiction genre, it logically follows it can't be science fiction with a speculative element.

I agree, bolting on a starship does not science fiction make.

BLMorticia said...

Okay I'm not exactly a SciFi fan but I love speculating about things and fantasy.

Looking forward to reading this book Angel!

Dawn Roberto said...

What I love about SFR is the whole possibilities that open up...I love the SF part and the R part as long as it is equal in the story...:-)

Erica Pike said...

I already have this book, so I'm not signing up. I just wanted to say that I'm reading this book now and loving it. There's a nice balance of tech and romance.

P.I. Barrington said...

Listen, for somebody who wants more sci in their fi, you have a lot of pics of biologically gorgeous men, LOL!!
I'm kind of torn between romance and science fiction mostly because my novels deal with actual themes and are more gritty. That sometimes takes over the plot.
I do understand and applaud another author who wants more sci in their fi because I'd like it too. My problem is finding enough time to devote to the science. I try to balance them as best I can...

Becky Black said...

I'm kind of guilty of letting the R trump the SF. I like to write about humans in the future, living out among the stars, yet still dealing with all the tricky stuff love and relationships of all kinds brings. Of course I'm one of the oddballs who on DS9 loved episodes where Sisko and Jake were dealing with normal father son issues, while just happening to live on a space station with a wormhole next door. :D I'm definitely more a character centred/space opera lover than a hard sci-fi writer.

The book looks great! I'd love to win a copy.

Dani Worth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angel Martinez said...

Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by! I do love the variety these days - oh my!

I hear you Lex - it's a tough balance sometimes, and there's nothing wrong with SF that has a romance IN it.

Ah, Ciara - for us old school fans SF, will always be Science Fiction :D

Angel Martinez said...

*waves t0 BL and Dawn* Thanks guys, for dropping in! I'm hearing that a lot lately "I'm not an SF fan, but..." lol

Angel Martinez said...

Hi Erica! Oh, I'm so glad you're reading and enjoying it so far!!

Angel Martinez said...

LOL - P.I. - nothing wrong with healthy, lovely males to go with the tech :D

Becky - the thing about DS9 is that there was plenty of tech and plenty of world-building, so when you did have the purely character-driven episodes, it still didn't feel like it could be down the block ;)

Anonymous said...

Ack! Sorry about the delete. Thought my link looked a bit like promo and I didn't mean to do that. ;)


Angel Martinez said...

Oh, dear - was wondering what had happened, Dani. I didn't think it looked like promo - not a problem.

But make sure we can contact you if we draw your name tomorrow :D

Aubrey Watt said...

Thanks for writing about this - I'm just now in the middle of my first ever SFR, and I actually love seeing how the genres overlap in creative ways. I've gotten so wrapped up in the science of it all (cog-sci stuff, sentience, science legislation) that I actually haven't written any of the love scenes yet, hah! Usually all of my stories are straight erotica, so this is definitely a new turn for me!

P.I. Barrington said...

Actually, Angel I meant to write biologically CORRECT males, LOL! It was just a joke! And I agree with Melisse, the range of sci-fi stories I think is a tremendous boon for authors! If it gets more readers to at least try sci-fi that's gotta be a good thing!

Sara York said...

And the winner is P.I.Barrington

Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for visiting with us Angel

Angel Martinez said...

P.I. - sent you an email, please let me know if there's another place you would like your copy of GA sent :)

Thank you for having me, Sara!