Monday, October 15, 2007

We’re At Least Boldly Trying…

Last week we engaged in a good bit of dialogue on the science fiction romance sub-genre and where it was going—given SFR's odd parentage and proclivity to bounce back and forth across the aisles of bookstores. What was really neato-peachy keen—in addition to all the terrific input here on the blog—was the fact that Robin D Owens, Patti O'Shea, Susan Grant and Gena Showalter (and yours truly) then spent this past weekend at the Divas' forum, participating in a Science Fiction & Futuristic Workshop-melee-grand free-for-all that was top notch fun and top notch feedback. You have to register for the forum (it's free) but you can read the entire weekend's worth of posts and comments. If this sub-genre's important to you, I recommend it.


Some of the things that became apparent through this energetic discussion were that the sub-genre is still hard to pin down and define; its audience is comprised of two fairly divergent groups (SF and romance); and there's still a huge interest in stories generated in SFR/RSF/Futuristics.

We also realize that SFR/RSF/Futuristics is a mouthful. "Whaddya reading in SFR/RSF/Futuristics these days?" just does not elegantly roll off the tongue. So who are we? Sifroms? Romsifs? Futroms? The latter sounds as if we can be a couch or a bed. Sciroms? Romsci? That's kind of cute: romsci as in rom-skee. Maybe too cutesy sounding.

So perhaps you can see the problem. We don't even know what to call ourselves. Other than one big honkin' good bunch 'o books.

I'm rather partial to Jacqueline Lichtenberg's intimate adventure other than it could be misheard as a section of a department store that sells negligees. Not necessarily a bad thing, that…

Continuing on this push for exposure, we have this week (poor Susan!) a week with Susan Grant at the HQN site. Woman is going to be totally forumed-out come next weekend. She may have to recruit Her Mewness to do the typing. So please do log in and go continue the buzz, and tell her Linnea says "Yarp! Yarp!":

"Author Susan Grant joins us in a discussion of her out-of- this-world heroes and her latest novel, in the Otherworldly Men series, How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days"

http://community.eharlequin.com/webx?50@@.4a84c12e

So let's all make sure Sue really gets no sleep and go pound her with questions and comments. And let's keep the buzz going.
ps: I would have added purty pictures today but Blogger is telling me it's having technical issues. I so know the feeling...

10 comments:

  1. Yarp! Yarp!

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  3. &*$ typos. Why is there no edit function on blogger!

    Anyway, let's try this again:

    Linnea, Sadie said thanks so much for stopping by the Harlequin board so I wouldn't feel so lonely. :) I noticed the moderator over on the HQ board said she'd never read an "otherworldly" romance before, meaning I think that she had not yet tried a SFR. This is all good, reeling them in one at a time.

    I loved your blog here today! Lots of good stuff to talk about.

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  4. PS--Apparently you have to +register+ for the HQ forum, so you have to do that before posting. :) Thanks for mentioning this, Linnea.

    I did a podcast for Harlequin last week. It's going to be on ITunes, etc, and we talked about...SFR! Ta da! Malle Valik asked me who I recommended, and I managed to get your name in there. Also plugged you on a radio broadcast here last week, so the greater Sacramento area now knows about your books!

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  6. Okay, fixed the double burp, Sue! Yeah, Blogger can be double annoying. Thanks for the plug, doll! Looking forward to buzzing some more. Hugs, ~Linnea

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  7. "Sciroms? Romsci? That's kind of cute: romsci as in rom-skee. Maybe too cutesy sounding."

    SciRoms /psy-roms/ ??

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  8. SFR is just cool, man. I mean, ladies.

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  9. >So perhaps you can see the problem. We don't even know what to call ourselves. Other than one big honkin' good bunch 'o books.
    I'm rather partial to Jacqueline Lichtenberg's intimate adventure

    this is like trying to come up with the category name that's on the spine or front of the book that identifies it for booksellers and readers, no? The way "paranormal romance" encompassed varied stories in that subgenre (and where SFR/Fut, etc. etc. still resides somewhat, no?).

    I don't have the answer, but I couldn't help but think about Rowena Cherry's post a week or two back where she stated she liked calling her stories "speculative romance." I mean, "speculative fiction" is that bigger category, but for the purposes of marketing, I could totally see publishers branching SFR into a "speculative romance" category for the book shelves. It works as far as a buzz word and imho very efficiently conveys the category, or what the story might entail (the way paranormal implies spooky, otherworldly stories).

    But, I gather that the publishers will call it whatever they want, no matter how exciting the category anyone else comes up with. Then there's the matter of authors agreeing...and readers...and marketing departments....

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  10. Have you been to SpecRom Online?

    I think this group originally called themselves SFR or something similar and then changed it.

    I like using "speculative."

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