April 29th, 2008
Sci-fi Romances

I’ve heard rumors **coughSarahcough** that some of the editors at RT were saying that the next ‘big’ paranormal thing was going to be sci-fi. I suppose that makes sense given the cycle of things. It’s been a while since sci-fi has had an upsurge in popularity. Like the historical market, sci-fi has been dropping. Historicals have ended their free-fall, so maybe sci-fi’s won’t be far behind.

I admit that I haven’t read a lot of sci-fi romance, unless you consider Old Man’s War and S.L. Viehl romances. *g* I’m currently reading Grimspace. I’m a HUGE fan of sci-fi movies. LOVE THEM! But when it comes to sci-fi books, I’m picky. What do you all think? Do you think sci-fi is the next vamp? Have you read many sci-fi romances/sci-fi novels? What do you think will be the next big thing?

73 comments to “Sci-fi Romances”

  1. My fingers are SO CROSSED. heeh

    Anyway a friend and I were talking about this the other day–mainly about old Anne McCaffrey (pre-Dragonriders). They weren’t sci-fi romances in the sense we might think, but they always (as far as I can remember) HAD a romance of some sort, ya know? And it always worked fine for me. O’course it’s been years since I read–at least ten….er twelve or thirteen.

    Of course there’s Susan Grant and Linnea Sinclair. πŸ˜€ I keep meaning to try them both.

  2. I’m wary, I have to admit. Like you, I love the movies, but the futuristic/sci-fi books that I read (long ago) didn’t hold me. I need to check out the new wave though. πŸ˜‰

  3. I LOVED Grimspace. It is on my best books of 2008 list. That book is the type of scifi I like to read. There wasn’t too much scientific jargon that you had to get straight, Ann put things and referred to things in a way that you instantly knew what she was talking about. And I loved the concept of the book and the execution.

    I hope scifi is on the rise, I have a huge space opera I’ve been working on for the past year that I would love to sell.

    Shows like BSG make me want to be able to write cool scifif…but these are stories about people, not about space and the jargon of that time. That’s what I like to read in scifi.

  4. Ah, I should be so lucky. I’d have a twelve book jump on everyone else, lol.

    Anne MacCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough wrote an amazing book titled Powers That Be that I always pass out like cigars to anyone who likes romance with their SF. The audio version of that novel is amazing, too. Anne’s Restoree and Crystal Singer are also excellent.

  5. It’s strange, but I like my SF without romance.

    I’ve seen Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant etc at the book store and flipped them open and…just not interested. Grimspace was a disappointment for me.

    But then again, SF is the only genre where my taste runs very closely towards critical opinion.

    There’s some SF in Elizabeth Bear’s WorldWired trilogy. I’ve read the first two and I think they are amazing, and I’m saving the third for a rainy day–okay, that’s a lie, since she’s writes so damn fast, I’m saving it because I can’t keep up.

    I think maybe one issue might be that in SF, romance is often a little less mainstream, and sticks far less to the man plus woman formula, so romance readers might not read it and think romance right away. To use Bear as an example again, in Carnival, the protagonists were a gay male couple.

  6. *smacks head* I meant romance in the WorldWired trilogy. 😳 It’s SF, with romance.

  7. I’ve read many SF novels. I can only think of one SF/Romance; and it was so long ago I don’t remember the title. I wrote one, and it was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. Wouldn’t your Atlantean series be considered SF/Romance?

  8. Lynn YES! I loved those books! πŸ˜€

  9. Amie, I also keep meaning to try Sue and Linnea. Not sure why I haven’t. I know I’m missing out.

  10. Saskia, Yeah, I don’t take as many chances on sci-fi books that I do on contemporary fantasy. πŸ™„

  11. Vivi, I’m a sucker for the characters, too. I think you should get your space opera together just in case. πŸ˜‰

    I’m still reading Grimspace and digging it. πŸ™‚

  12. Lynn, LOL! Yes, you do. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  13. May, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. *g* πŸ˜€

  14. May, No worries.

  15. Bernard, If you had that much fun writing it, why haven’t you written another? Just saying. πŸ˜‰

    As for the Atlanteans, they’re a weird hybrid. They start out fantasy, then slowly shift to a hybrid sci-fi. I wouldn’t personally consider them sci-fi. To me they’re more fantasy than anything.

  16. I’m sort of with Vivi here. I need my sci-fi to be more people-oriented than technologically, which seems to make my eyes glaze over (unless it’s alternate universes, time travel, theoretical or philosophical, etc.).
    But I wouldn’t be surprised to see sci-fi make a big comeback–and toss in a little romance, oh yeah. πŸ˜€
    Nothing to do with the fact that it’s one of the mss I’m working on now… πŸ˜›

  17. Love SF. Love romance. If this does take off, boy do I have stories that could finally sell. :mrgreen: I’d actually love to do cyber punk romance.

  18. Mmmmm…. Cyberpunk.

  19. You know Charli, I really want to love cyber punk because you know I feel like that should be the thing for me…but I really tried to read William Gibson and I just couldn’t do it. He lost me after the first chapter.

    Any other authors writing cyber punk that you recommend?

  20. Raine, I admit that if there are too many new names for things I don’t keep up. Same goes for fantasy. As for your motives, *ggg*. πŸ˜‰

  21. Charli, Good Cyberpunk is hard to write. It’s one of my dh’s favorite genres. That would be cool. πŸ™‚

  22. Vivi, William Gibson isn’t a fast read for me. The weird thing is that I LOVE all his concepts. It’s something about the pacing that throws me off.

  23. Vivi, get a copy of Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Your head will explode. You will gnash your teeth in bitter jealousy that you didn’t write it. Or maybe that’s just me. 😈 Seriously, try it! Also, did you try Burning Chrome by Gibson?

  24. Charli, I’ll check it out. I’ll see if I feel the same. *ggg*

    As for Gibson, I have two of his really old works and Pattern Recognition.

  25. I know nothing about the romance genre but I’m reading Charles Stross’ Glasshouse set in the distant future where people readily change body forms and genders. It really isn’t a romance but there are hints as to where the genre might go. Folk who aren’t big sci-fi fans will have to wade through some of it but I think it would be worth it.

    p.s. I linked here via io9.

  26. Drift, I’ll definitely check it out. Sounds interesting. I’m not sure what io9 is, but I’m about to Google it. *g* Thanks for dropping by.

  27. *love* Jon Courtenay Grimwood. *love* The *love* Arabesk trilogy *love* is a good place to start.

    By the way, Stross has at least one book up online (that was print pubbed) that you can download for free. Maybe Accelerando?

  28. Thanks for letting me know, May. πŸ™‚

  29. Romance and SF have been an on again / off again couple for years.

    If more SF/Romance means more books like Grant’s Contact, Sinclair’s Finder’s Keeper or Bujold’sA Civil Campaign, then bring it on, but I’d rather see no SF/romance books on the shelves more bad bodice-rippers-in-space hybrids.

  30. but I’d rather see no SF/romance books on the shelves more bad bodice-rippers-in-space hybrids.

    Oh god, does anybody remember the ones Johanna Lindsey wrote?

  31. Mary, Yes, I remember a couple years back when it was starting to rise, but never quite took off. The rule of thumb according to Kathryn Falk is that whatever is on television now will be popular in books within a year or two. That should mean more sci-fi romance. Has there been any ‘bodice ripper’ (very out-dated words btw) space hybrids in the last ten years? I don’t recall any.

  32. May, I remember those books by Johanna Lindsey. Of course, they’re quite old and she was one of the first romance authors to write sci-fi romances. So I think we should cut her a ‘little’ slack. πŸ˜‰

  33. Jordan,

    I hope that you are right. I have been working on a manuscript for some time and am nearing completion. It will be nice to have a market for it. πŸ˜€ I just posted my Science Fiction Romance origins over on my blog. I love seeing others interested in my genre.

    I highly recommend Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair. To me, it is Pinocchio meets the Steadfast Tin Soldier. Besides being very sweet it is a great adventure, but definitely character driven.

    Some of you know that Linnea is coming out with Shades of Dark this summer. Be sure to read Gabriel’s Ghost first.

    Linnea won the RITA for Gabriel’s Ghost. She is going to be a strong contender for Games of Command. Everything that I have heard from those who have read the ARC, is that Shades of Dark is the best thing that Linnea has written so far.

  34. Frances, Good luck finishing up the book. πŸ™‚

    I’ve heard great things about Linnea. I believe I have one of her books in my TBR pile, but I’m not sure which one. Yes, I know that’s sad, but if you had as many books as I do on the shelves you’d lose track, too. πŸ˜†

  35. she was one of the first romance authors to write sci-fi romances. So I think we should cut her a β€˜little’ slack.

    WORD! πŸ˜›

  36. Amie, πŸ˜‰

  37. Sorry knew bodice-ripper wasn’t a great term, πŸ™ but I couldn’t think of any other term for the no where near historically correct Pirate/Barbarian/Viking/Cowboy/Whatever over the top larger than life (pun not really intended) sort of Romance I was thinking about. My College friends always called them “Heaving Bosom” novels, but I didn’t know if that term was in general use.

  38. I think the term you might have been looking for is either ‘classic’ or ‘vintage’. πŸ˜‰

    LOL Mary, I’d never heard the Heaving Bosom term before. Sounds like you’re throwing something. *ggg* No worries.

  39. I’ve been brainstorming a sf/f romance for a while, but historicals are my first love. But that’s good to hear as my reading preferences have been leaning away from typical UFs(which tend to be “paranormal mysteries”) and towards books dealing with protagonists navigating otherworldly societies.

  40. Heaving bosoms, oh my, now there’s an imagery-rich phrase. Makes me think of something you could detach and throw at someone who’s annoying you. Wouldn’t that be great at booksignings? “Excuse me, Ms. Summers, but I really hate your book because–” (thwap.) Although personally I wouldn’t heave mine around. Unless someone wants a broken jaw.

    Okay, maybe I’ve spent too much time coding and recoding this morning. πŸ˜‰

  41. Evangeline, I think now is a good time to explore whatever moves you. The economy sucks, so why not write what you want? πŸ˜‰

  42. Lynn, LOL! Yes, that’s quite a mental picture. *ggg*

  43. Jordan, you should give Lois McMaster Bujold a try. Her Miles Vorkosigan books are fun romps, and there’s some romance in them, too (particularly Komarr and Civil Campaign, and Shards of Honor which is about Miles’ parents).

  44. Gabriele, I think I may have one those books. I’m going to have to look.

  45. I’ve read Finder’s Keepers and some Susan Grant. I loved the books.

    It’s just…maybe I’m strange but I want to read more SF in the romance. I loved hard SF. I love the science, even if I never became one. I love Catherine Asaro’s Spherical Harmonic in part due to the science in it.

    Yet all the SFR’s I can find have mild SF in them.

    I want Battlestar Galactica with the ships and the love story too.

    Is it possible to find that or am I just missing those books?

  46. Anna, I don’t think you’re strange. πŸ™‚ I do think it’s difficult to put hard SF into a romance and not lose the romance in the process. Sue and Linnea are writing terrific SF romances. Patricia Waddell (sp) also writes wonderful SF romances. You should definitely grab Grimspace, even though it’s technically not a romance. I think you’d really enjoy it. There just aren’t a lot of romance writers writing SF romances because the market isn’t there…unfortunately. Hopefully that will change. πŸ™‚

  47. Anna, I agree with Jordan that it is difficult to include hard SF into a Romance. I have been working on my manuscript for five years now. It is tough. I didn’t know anything about Astronomy, so I had to learn. I didn’t know anything about flight, so I hit up Su Grant and my brother. I wanted to know what things look like in Space, so I went out and hunted down an Astronaut. I caught the poor man and beat him to the ground. It didn’t take long to torture the facts from him. Never mess with a determined Romance writer.


    Writing Science Fiction Romance
    Real Love in a Real Future

  48. If you want to find SFR you need to visit The Galaxy Express blog. A comprehensive list of authors starting in the 1930’s.

    I will admit I’m one who likes the characters to matter more than the science. Or least, don’t make me aware I’m being fed science.

    If the genre does take off, agree with the hope its not just sex in space. I love HEA, but I require a story prior to it.

    I think that’s why I like Linnea so much. Lots of story wrapped around a romance.

  49. Pauline, I’ve gone to that blog. It’s nice.

    I think like any genre that comes back around you’ll get a little bit of everything. Some of it will be sex in space, some will be hard science and most will be somewhere in the middle.

  50. Totally agree will probably be lots of things. I mean, it SF, which is speculative by nature. I didn’t know it could be so fun to write SFR until I tried it. There are boundaries, but they are different ones from other types of fiction, which is very cool. I love seeing what other authors do with it, too.

    But I have to say, no matter what genre, for me it comes back to kick ass storying tellng. Make me forget I’m reading a book. Take me in and delight me. πŸ™‚

  51. Thanks for the linkage, Pauline!

    >Some of it will be sex in space

    If someone wants to publish a book titled SEX IN SPACE, I’ll read it! Lord only knows what that type of story would entail.

  52. Pauline, A good story is a good story no matter the genre. I’ve read a few sci-fi books. Some I enjoyed more than others. Like you, the characters must be front and center. They also need to be interesting. I don’t want twenty pages about your world, when you can show me through your character in two paragraphs.

    I don’t write sci-fi, although I do have touches of it in my new series. I certainly love ALL the sci-fi movies though. *g*

  53. LOL! Someone on one of my lists says there is always a discussion at cons about whether it is actually possible… (grin)

  54. LOL! Of course there is. *ggg*

  55. Have to love those movies….

    Wish sci-fi channel did more of them and less of the creatures eating people ones.

    I guess it’s unreasonable of me to expect the sci-fi channel to actually DO sci-fi movies though….

    Eight days to Stargate Atlantis premier!

  56. Well see I’m torn there because I’m an even bigger fan of bad monster movies. *ggg*
    You do have a point about the Sci-fi channel though. Not a lot of Sci-fi happening there.
    Oh man, I didn’t know Stargate Atlantis was coming back so soon. When does it start?

  57. Oh, I like the monstor movies, too. How could I NOT love a movie about a rock monster? I mean, I’m married to a geologist. LOL!

    I’m just a sucker for the high adventure, space operas, too.

    Stargate starts the 11th AND the last movie releases the 29th.

    I met Martha Wells at ApolloCon, she does some of the SG Atlantis books. She previewed the first episode and said it was really good.

  58. Glad to hear Stargate is coming back so soon. Will have to make sure it tapes. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  59. πŸ™‚ You are most welcome!

  60. >Wish sci-fi channel did more of them and less of the creatures eating people ones.

    I love great movies. I love bad movies. It’s the mediocre ones that leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  61. Heather, I’m the same. Those mediocre ones have me begging for the two hours of my life back. *ggg*

  62. Pauline, πŸ™‚

  63. >hose mediocre ones have me begging for the two hours of my life back


  64. Did you see the killer baboons? I still can’t decide if The Rock Monster was delightfully or awfully bad…

    Now Savage Planet..that was messed up. I’m totally afraid of bears (not a phobia IMHO, but totally logical!) and I usually have nightmares after bear mauling movies, but nothing. Nada. Zip on this one.

    I saw Deja Vu for the first time. I didn’t realize it was a time travel movie. (I have a fondness for techno time travel.) I didn’t watch it because it was New Orleans post-Katrina and I wasn’t ready to see that, but I liked the movie.

    I have to say, though, it is weird to see a car chase in a place you know really well and KNOW it’s messed up. That those roads don’t do that.

    But I still liked it. πŸ™‚

  65. Pauline, Somehow I missed all those movies. My mom saw Deja Vu and really liked it. I’m just behind on my viewing.

  66. I’ve probably watched WAY more SF channel than I should have. Or should admit to. πŸ™„

    I’ve been watching with my son, so that changes things a bit. Its way more fun to watch a bad movie with someone, so you can mock it together. πŸ™‚

    And when you watch anything on sf channel, you see endless commercials for what’s coming. So even the ones I haven’t seen, I know about.

    That said, they had some great commercials, the “i hate saturday night” ones that were hysterical, but they don’t show them enough. Haven’t found them on youtube either. Mostly saw them on Friday night, which worked because we were watching Stargate (but at the same time how sad it is to watch a channel TO SEE A COMMERICAL?)

    In my defense, it has been a strange year….

  67. My favorite Sci-fi commercials are the ones that give you tips to stay alive in a scary movie. (ie If you hear a noise coming from the basement and you’re home alone, don’t go check it out.) They crack me up.

  68. LOL! Those are funny! They need to get with it and get them on their website. Or least upload them to youtube.

  69. That would be nice. πŸ™‚

  70. Forgive me but it seems it’s cool for women to write sexually quite explicit sci-fi at the moment (and in other genres) but not for men.

  71. Grens, Actually, that’s not entirely true. Are there more women writing erotic romances than men these days? Sure, but there are several men writing erotic romances in various subgenres right now. Some go by their ‘real’ name, while others choose to disguise themselves as women.

  72. ***Why would they disguise themselves as women though, do you think?***

    Women dominate the romance genre. Some readers won’t pick up romance books written by men, whether they’re erotic or not. This is changing, but not quickly. Also, particularly with the erotic romance genre, some of the first men published weren’t writing for women. Their scenes were more male fantasy oriented, instead of female fantasy oriented. There’s a big difference and readers noticed. It made them hesitant to purchase other male writers. Again, I think things are slowly changing.

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