Sci-Fi Romance discussion

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Talk Genre > What do you like to have happen in SFR?

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message 1: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments Space ships? Time Travel? Aliens? Robots? Anything goes?


message 2: by Jacqueline J (new)

Jacqueline J | 154 comments Space ships and aliens definitely. No to time travel for me (personal preference) Robots only if NOT the all knowing all capable deus ex machina type. I'm not really particular as long as the sci fi element is well done. I think a Sci Fi romance author should be widely read in Sci Fi itself. If they are not, it definitely shows. Get the book "How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy" by Orson Scott Card. It will help new sci fi authors avoid stuff that makes a reader wince. NAYY


message 3: by AnnaM (last edited Jul 25, 2010 04:20PM) (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I tend to like alien worlds and complex worldbuilding--or at least the hint of a complex larger life happening beyond the romance.

Robots, time travel, aliens, etc. are all good to me, though with something like time travel or vampires or other paranormal elements I like to have some other "harder" SF elements too. Or scientific reasons for things to happen.

I don't consider Outlander SFR despite the time travel because, well, other than the tt it's basically a historical novel. But I do consider things like The Lost Fleet series, or An Accidental Goddess because their method of "time travel" is via cryonic suspension.

I agree with the recommendation of Orson's book. I have that one. It's good.


message 4: by Jacqueline J (new)

Jacqueline J | 154 comments My favorite type of sci fi, whether with a romance or not, is marginal just getting by trader types. Prime examples are Merchanter's Luck by C.J. Cherryh and the Liaden stories by Lee and Miller. Oh and ask me if I loved Firefly. So if anyone wants to write that kind of stuff, I guarantee to buy it.

What I really don't like is anything having to do with gods and godesses and the theologies of other planets. Gag.

I'm with you on Outlander. How that ever got near a sci fi tag I'll never understand. Waking from cyronic suspension isn't time travel at all for me.

Loved TLF and AG also.


message 5: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Green (laurieagreen) | 146 comments I'd bet Outlander got that tag the same way Twilight did, by subgenre confusion. I don't mind SFR being called Paranormal Romance, but I cringe a bit when Fantasy and/or Vampire Romance is called SFR.

I, too, am a huge fan of 'just getting by' freighters who sometimes resort to smuggling (Browncoats rock!) but I'm a little burned out on the whole space pirate thing. I love well-written military SFR, though it turns me off when the author doesn't understand the differences in rank or military structure and, for instance, has a junior officer named as a vessel's second in command. (I'd love to see a lot more novels with the military realism incorporated in Sandra McDonald's The Outback Stars.)

OK, so much for pet peeves. What do I like? Anything goes as long as the story incorporates imaginative world-building and technology, a believable struggle with three-dimensional villain(s), and a love story that is intricately interwoven with all the elements. (I don't ask for much, do I? *grin*)


message 6: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Stixrude | 36 comments I love variety. Spaceships and alien cultures and cyborgs and a bit of time travel works. I like a good time paradox (Dan Simmons - Endymion books e.g.)

But what I really love is social/anthro based SF. Ursula LeGuin comes to mind. I want a non-Earth society that feels real, where the story immerses you in its intricacies and issues. What do people do to survive? How do they relate to each other? How do they relate to their world? How do different biologies affect any and all of these things? And within the framework of this society, what challenges do lovers face?


message 7: by new_user (last edited Jul 28, 2010 11:21PM) (new)

new_user | 755 comments I like sf to explore social complications too, Sandra. I don't care for time travel or time paradoxes, however.

I do like military realism, bureaucratic realism, etc. One of my pet peeves is the fuzzy alien or giant bugs. I don't really see the purpose of including them for the sake of including a fuzzy alien or because they're staples of the genre. I actually think human-like aliens with a bit of a twist is more believable, à la the Roswell show, LOL. We quibble about the laws of physics, but we don't blink when we see a giant dog character, LOL. C'mon. I think it's just that we're used to certain kinds of sf depictions more than others. We'll swallow whatever we're used to.

Anywho, if authors include those aliens, then I like them to approach them with the same interest as the humans, explore them in depth too.


message 8: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 345 comments I guess I'm shallow. (grin)I just like a rousing good adventure and if you make me laugh or just smile, even better. I like to be taken somewhere new and delighted by a fun story. I'm also a sucker for time travel and paradoxes. lol


message 9: by new_user (new)

new_user | 755 comments I like world-building, but it's more important to me that it's realistic socially than scientifically. I don't mind if they don't explain the origins of a society, although that's always nice.


message 10: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 31 comments I'm really bored with military SF, but in saying that, I still watch the movies if they're good. I enjoy good world building, interaction between different cultures and all I ask is that it makes sense. I do have some working knowledge of physics, so I like things explained well and that they make sense. A team of scientists don't have to agree with the theory, but if it's explained well, I'll buy it.

But I agree with Pauline, if it's a good adventure, I'm satisfied.


message 11: by Athena (new)

Athena (athenaweeena) | 10 comments Mod
I'm so glad you guys are here! I love reading you guys talk. I'm wearing a brown coat right now. and I always considered Outlander PNR, never even crossed my mind someone would think of it as SFR. I love good SF, grew up reading nothing but, thanks to my mom. I want my SFR to be authentic SF and sincere romance with awesome worlds and cultures. but, i really do want the main plot of my SFR to be the romance. there's nothing like 2 'beings' alone and adrift in a ship, stuck for days with nothing but each other...and hormones. wink wink ^_^


message 12: by new_user (new)

new_user | 755 comments LOL! I hear you! :D


message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Stixrude | 36 comments LOL, Athena - very true, though we've seen the 'stuck together on a spaceship' enough times now, I need extra twists for it to still hold my attention.

"But I want a solid scientific core to the society and the aliens too" - amen, sister! I don't need it all explained at once, I'll take the info parceled out over several books, but, yes, I want to know the how's and why's. If a human culture has been isolated and has changed from the bulk of humanity, why? If there are certain taboos and social restrictions, where did they come from? The series has kind of fallen out of fashion now, but Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels did a terrific job with that (and there were plenty of romances in the books as well *g*)


message 14: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments Darkover was one of the first true SF series I ever read as a child. I had to be pretty young because I read Dune at 12 and had already read all the Darkover books I could find, plus some Asimov and whatever else I could find in the used bookstore.


message 15: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Stixrude | 36 comments Hooray! I wish I had more of them still in my collection - but I do still have the ones about Lew Alton and the ones about the Magdalena Lorne. Oh, it's been years.

I read Dune early on as well, shivers racing along my spine from Paul's visions. other early reads, before the age of ten...The Lathe of Heaven. The Martian Chronicles...devoured it all.


message 16: by new_user (new)

new_user | 755 comments LOL. I was reading fantasy at that time. Still do. But I still remember Enchantress from the Stars from my childhood. :)


message 17: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I'll have to check out Enchantress. I've never heard of that one.

Dune. Sigh. Paul Atredies. I can honestly say he was the first character I fell in love with.

A few months later Star Wars premiered and I liked both he and Han Solo. Still do. LOL.


message 18: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Stixrude | 36 comments *mumbles under breath* I liked Darth Vader...


message 19: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I liked Vader's voice. :-)


message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Stixrude | 36 comments Heck, yes! So not happy about what George did with the 'prequels', though, and the whole Anakin thing >:(


message 21: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 345 comments I really liked the three books written by Zahn about the post Star Wars. I would have liked to see the movie of those three books.

Also liked Ender's Game. Not so wild about the sequels. But no romance in it that I remember.


message 22: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Stixrude | 36 comments That's OK, we're obviously SF fans here, too, Pauline. Ender's Game is amazing. And I did still like the series through Speaker for the Dead, which is a marvelous concept.


message 23: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 345 comments i prob need to reread the books. at the time i was expecting the same kind of breath stealing adventure as the first book. i guess that is the challenge of the author when you explore SF. has anyone read RM Meluch? She wrote this kind of over the top series. I think it's generally known as the MYRIAD series? At the end of the first book there is a MAJOR twist. I don't know how I would have felt if I was waiting for book two. It was a shock, but I was able to dive into the next three books and it resolves at the end of them, not perfectly, but enough for you to go, okay. In the end, I liked it, but she freaked out a lot of her fans with the first book. It's tough to balance reader expectation with your own desire to explore. I know I lost readers when I moved into SFR, but I had to follow my muse. And I have had a grand time doing it. (grin)


message 24: by new_user (new)

new_user | 755 comments Pauline, why do you say RM Meluch's series is over the top? I'm curious.


message 25: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 345 comments It's just big a bold and fun, reminds of Star Trek. Big bugs and the whole Roman thing? I just thought it was like a roller coaster ride, rather than a journey?


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