Saturday, March 29, 2008

How much?

I'm in Jacksonville FL at the Southern Lights conference this weekend. I don't have a craft post prepared but a question that arose last night in a discussion. How much romance do you want in your sci-fi? Or on the other hand, how much sci-fi do you want in your romance? Should the romance take center stage? Or the technical stuff? Or the story its self. Since this is a growing genre it would be great to know exactly what the reader is looking for and or expects.

Off to hear Suzanne Brockman speak


  1. My goodness, this is such a subjective question! I think it's good to have authors who span the spectrum because the potential readership for SFR does. I think the question isn't how much romance, but how much of it can be enjoyed by how many readers.

    Based on the books I know of right now, most SFR is geared towards women only, aged 25 to 45, and they better not like children because almost none of the Heroines are mothers. If not for Susan Grant, I wouldn't have anything else to recommend.

    Not in the New Releases anyway.

    I think if SFR is to grow, it's going to have to diversify.

  2. Kimber,

    My heroine, Martia-Djulia in Insufficient Mating Material is a mother... just not an effective one, and her sons are teenagers.


  3. My vampire psychiatrist, Roger Darvell, is a reluctant father in CHILD OF TWILIGHT. The twelve-year-old daughter he's seen only once, whom he fathered solely because he was pressured into doing his bit for the survival of the species (as half vampire and half human, he bears genes with hybrid vigor), runs away from her guardian and appears on Roger's doorstep -- a couple of days before Christmas, with a curious vampire hunter and a vengeful female vampire on her track.

    I like a strong blend of both romantic and speculative elements. Not being a hard-science person, I prefer the "science" in my romantic SF to be biology, anthropology, sociology, etc. Even if the science element stays in the background, however, it must be solid. That was a valid criticism of the original STAR TREK, that the science and technology weren't taken to their logical real-world conclusions. For instance, the transporter technology implies the possibility of replicators -- which do exist in the series set later in the ST universe. We may infer that replicators weren't used on the original Enterprise and Kirk's Enterprise because the technology either wasn't yet refined enough for such fine-tuned uses or was too expensive for constant everyday use.

  4. I am a Science Fiction Fan. I want the story to be the focus and the romance to be an outgrowth of the story. I dislike stories where the romance is rushed and does not fit the context of the story. Nothing feels real when that happens.

  5. That's cool, Rowena and Margaret. Can you recommend any SFR with Sweet or Mildly Sensual Heat Levels which I can recommend to my younger friends?

  6. Kimber,

    Lisa Shearin's Magic Lost, Trouble Found... it's fantasy, not sfr

    Vivian Vande Valde's Dragon's Bait... also fantasy.

    Carrie Masek's Under A Bear Moon...

  7. Vivian Vande Velde's COMPANIONS OF THE NIGHT is one of the best YA vampire novels I've ever read. The relationship between the vampire and the human girl is fraught with romantic tension, but the vampire is clearly dangerous, not sentimentalized. I like just about everything of hers I've read.

  8. Margaret,

    Regarding Vivian Vande Valde...

    so do I!!!!


  9. Science Fiction Romance has the widest spectrum of readers and potential readers of any Romance subgenre I've seen. It's a serious challenge to accomadate all of them, but the more readers accomadated the more SFR will grow. That's just my opinion.

  10. All three of my star books have parental relationships as an issue. In Stargazer, Michael does everything he can to protect Lilly, who does not know that he is her father. In Shooting Star, Tess's life centers around her son Boone and in Star Shadows, over protective parents and rebellious teens set everything in motion. So there is diverse reading out there, sometimes you just might have to look for it.

  11. Cindy Holby said, "So there is diverse reading out there, sometimes you just might have to look for it."

    Ah, there's the rub. Somehow, some of you aren't known to the readers who might love your books. Now, if you all could figure out how to make that connection, you might be on to something.

  12. While attending the Celebrate Romance conference we writers asked the question of the readers, How do you pick up new authors. The majority of their answers were "by recommendation" We will read something that our friends say is good, or that we hear a buzz about on the web. Sometimes its a cover but mostly its word of mouth.

    Its up to us authors to get the word out without singing ME ME ME READ ME! At the top of our lungs. It takes a while to build a readership also. which is something the publisher doesn't always give time for.

    Which leads to the reason why we started this blog. We're all authors who write similar things and do our best to promote each others stories. I will certainly recommend Sue Grant to someone who likes my stuff and she is likely to do the same even though she only guests here occasionally. The same with the rest of the authors here. I also highly recommend the authors I like to read who may not write futuristic romance. I think basically all we're asking for is a chance.

    And oh yeah, Read Stacey Kleimstein if you like aliens in your stories. She is amazing!