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message 1: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new)

Teresa Carrigan | 2638 comments Mod
The Themed topic for June will be Romance. This discussion is an attempt to determine whether we need a narrower aspect of that.

There is a wide range of ways romance can be included in a space opera story, from “courting while on the run from enemies” as in Agent of Change to steamy inter species sex with a harem.

My personal preference is to leave details to the imagination and to have the romance not be the main focus of the story. My favorite is probably Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

What are your preferences for including romance in space opera, and what’s your favorite?


message 2: by Dan (new)

Dan | 89 comments Romance (and by extension) sex is the salt of writing: sometimes a little bit can bring out the nuance in a story, but too much can ruin it.

As such, I have mixed feelings about its inclusion in a story. Sometimes sexual tension seems forced, other times it seems like it's there just because sex sells.

Perhaps the best example of this is that interspecies love interests very rarely are that different: more often a human is chasing after a humanoid, instead of a blob of tentacles.

Perhaps the best (and most creative) work where a book has included sex as a main theme is How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story


message 3: by L J (new)

L J | 126 comments I read SF ranging from those with little or no romance to those that can best be classified as SFRom where romance is main plot or a major plot element. My preference is that whatever the situation it needs to make sense. If the characters are behaving like they are gender neutral and have no romantic connections I need to know why. At the other end, don't pause in the middle of a dangerous situation to have an intimate moment without telling why it is safe to do or why it is happening despite it being unsafe.


message 4: by Chad (new)

Chad (doctorwinters) | 21 comments I love the Liaden books and enjoy the romance part where i would usually avoid something known for its romance as the story often seems to suffer or just be buffer inbetween the sexy times


message 5: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new)

Teresa Carrigan | 2638 comments Mod
I’m going to assume we don’t need to narrow the theme.


message 6: by Laz (new)

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 208 comments Can we avoid the "Aliens need to mate with humans" trope? Other than that, I enjoy everything from warm and fuzzy to hot and raunchy.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 38 comments Laz wrote: "Can we avoid the "Aliens need to mate with humans" trope? Other than that, I enjoy everything from warm and fuzzy to hot and raunchy."

But how else will they breeeed????

*snicker*


message 8: by Anya (last edited May 10, 2018 01:14AM) (new)

Anya Leninjav (spacecadet1stclass) | 6 comments Personally I often find romance and 'human drama' in science fiction tedious. I'm really more interested in big picture ideas and machines than I am in who's banging whom. Also it's often extremely implausible - both in the sense that 'no one has time for this when you're in the middle of a genocidal war' and 'this is not how realy adults act'.

A lot of sci-fi romance feels like it was written by someone who has never actually talked to a girl. It reminds me of teen drama or anime, where all of the characters are ridiculously awkward, circumspect and unbelievably mysterious about their intentions. I had more sexual maturity and awareness in middle school than a lot of these fictional characters do as supposedly widely traversed adults. Again, it's written as though the author is a 65 year old virgin. That includes both the doe-eyed romantic stuff and the porno-sexual stuff. It's just off-putting, and certainly not titillating or even interesting to me.

It sort of reminds me of Hollywood fight choreography, in a sense: that's not how people fight.

As far as Sci-Fantasy goes I actually find the Gor series less annoying than most, because that sort of casual indulgence actually is how a lot of extremely powerful men have acted in history (just look at the Mongols, oi!) whereas most heavily sexual stuff in books is either the author playing with himself or completely random.

I also dislike the whole 'they hate each other, until they fall madly in love' trope. Most people I instantly hate I grow to hate more with time. I have never once wanted to marry any of them.


message 9: by Laz (new)

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 208 comments Anya, I'm curious. Most romance/erotica authors are women, even in scifi, but you are referring to male authors. It seems we have different reading lists. Which male authors, published since 2000, are you referencing?


message 10: by L J (last edited May 13, 2018 07:45PM) (new)

L J | 126 comments Laz wrote: "Anya, I'm curious. Most romance/erotica authors are women, even in scifi, but you are referring to male authors. It seems we have different reading lists. Which male authors, published since 2000, ..."

Laz, I'm curious about this, too. I've been trying to think of male authors writing science fiction romance or romantic science fiction, even outside space opera. Back in the 1960s & '70s there were some, like Philip E. High and James Schmitz but I can't think of any in recent science fiction.
edit: Just thought of one, sort of, Ilona Andrews.


message 11: by Britt (new)

Britt Ringel | 18 comments Laz, I'm curious about this, too. I've been trying to think of male authors writing science fiction romance or romantic science fiction, even outside space opera. Back in the 1960s & '70s there were some, like Philip E. High and James Schmitz but I can't think of any in recent science fiction.

As a male scifi indie who recently wrote a romance in a science fiction setting, I'm also curious to find more male authors in the space. I even joined a Sci-Fi Romance group on Goodreads to explore, but it's hard to "fit in." :)


message 12: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Scott Ed Hoornaert, JC Hay, half of the 'Tiffany Roberts' writing team...those are the names that come to my mind as far as male authors of scifi romance. Which is a different thing than science fiction with romantic elements...


message 13: by Laz (new)

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 208 comments Veronica wrote: "Ed Hoornaert, JC Hay, half of the 'Tiffany Roberts' writing team...those are the names that come to my mind as far as male authors of scifi romance. Which is a different thing than science fiction ..."

Do you think any of these guys have the issues that Anya describes?


message 14: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Scott Personally I don't find that the SFR I read falls into the pitfalls I believe Anya was describing so that's hard for me to say. I don't feel the three I mentioned, or the Ilona Andrews writing team write as if they've never actually talked to a girl (to paraphrase) nor cause their characters to stop to have sex in the middle of tense situations. But that's one nice thing about SFR - there's a very broad spectrum of writing and heat levels. Certainly there are books which do exhibit traits such as Anya brings up and then there a lot of others which don't. I don't tend to read too much SF with romantic elements novels so can't speak much to them. I stick primarily to the SFR. Sorry to come in on the middle of this discussion, apologies if I'm missing a key point or thread.


message 15: by R. (new)

R. Billing (r_billing) | 196 comments Personally I've always liked the romantic subplot, from Pola and Arvadan in "Pebble in the sky", through Wyoming and Manny in "Harsh Mistress" to Agelina and the Stainless Steel Rat.

I have written one full-on human/alien romance novella where they have very different bodies (the alien looks like a squid) but they hook up through virtual reality. Lance sees Eve as human woman, Eve sees Lance as a squid.


message 16: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Scott I like the virtual reality idea!


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