Sci-Fi Romance discussion

Let's Get Specific! > Catherine Asaro Saga of the Skolian Empire

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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments Hi, looks like this is my first post here. I am working my way through the Sagao of the Skolian Empire series by Catherine Asaro. I just love it! It was not written in chronological order, so if anyone wants I can post that. I am reading it that way (though I started out of the time-line order).

message 2: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments It's one of my favorite series!

message 3: by new_user (new)

new_user | 755 comments Hi, Anne! I have plans to read this series, as I've read a book from the author under another pseudonym, and she had potential. :D

How much romance is in these novels, would you say? Just so I can be prepared. :)

message 4: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I always planned to read it. I have also read other books written by Catherine Asaro, the fantasy series. They are really good. Is the sci-fi series being reprinted.

message 5: by Manda (new)

Manda | 1 comments Asaro is one of my favourite authors. I absolute love Primary Inversion and The Radiant Seas. I believe Inversion was the first published and makes a great starting place. Its about a psychic cyborg trying to find inner peace and love. or you could start with The Quantum Rose. Its a nearly stand alone novel about love on a pastoral planet.

Does anyone know if another Asaro novel is in the works? It could be either Skolian or not.

NebulousGloom (FK) (nebulousgloom) | 30 comments I'm making my way through the series. I'm reading them in the order they were published in, though. As for how much romance, Primary Inversion had some. Quantum Rose had a lot.

message 7: by AnnaM (last edited Nov 10, 2010 11:54AM) (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments Keep in mind, the "romance" in these stories is not written like a Romance novel really. There's not anywhere near as much time spent describing looks or feelings. There's simply too much SF for that. The sex is basically behind closed doors.

Quantum Rose is one of the most romantic. Though I found the Big Picture romances that arc through the series as a whole (like Kelric's) very romantic and satisfying. The series follows a family and most have their true romances, etc.

But if you aren't a fan of SF with technical explanations, these might not please you. They're definitely more SF than R.

Me? I adore them. I've read Primary Inversion four times and every other book (except the most current) more than once. They're all keepers for me.

message 8: by new_user (last edited Nov 10, 2010 10:34AM) (new)

new_user | 755 comments Thanks, guys! That helps a lot! I love SF with a romance subplot, so these sound fine. I think I'll read Inversion first then, since everyone loves it (wonderful to hear!) I do like a romance that develops over several books too. It seems so natural, and there's a lot of anticipation. :)

message 9: by AnnaM (last edited Nov 10, 2010 11:53AM) (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments Primary Inversion is probably the best introduction to the series because it 1. introduces one of the most pivotal characters of the series and 2. has the feel of the majority of the series. A couple of the books feel slightly different.

The only other story I'd possibly think of starting with is The Last Hawk, however, the hero of that one doesn't continue that story for several more books. Whereas Primary Inversion has a direct sequal in The Radiant Seas.

And, if you can find the short story Aurora in Four Voices, it tells the earlier story of Soz, the heroine. I read it after the novels and enjoyed it more I think because I knew what was to come for the characters.

After those I'd try to read the novels in publication order, personally.

message 10: by Mary C (new)

Mary C (marymaryalwayscontrary) | 44 comments I recently read The Charmed Sphere by Asaro and enjoyed it quite a bit. That's actually fantasy but I thought I'd mention it anyway. There is some romance in it but like someone else mentioned it's not written like a romance. There's even a couple of mild sex scenes. A little more than behind closed doors but again-not like in a romance novel.

I'm looking forward to reading some of her sci-fi.

message 11: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Green (laurieagreen) | 146 comments I was suprised not to see a mention of Alpha, a SFR by Asaro about a lieutenant general who is kidnapped by the female android he's supposed to interrogate. The sex is not behind closed doors on this one, although the scenes are brief. Love the imaginative worldbuilding about a future where the realities of real and cyberworlds are starting to cross. It takes place on a futuristic Earth with some very cool tech.

Also, I haven't read the prequel, Sunrise Alley, but it's available for free download on the Baen Free Library (as is Primary Inversion). Here's the link:

message 12: by new_user (new)

new_user | 755 comments Oh! I was thinking that Alpha was part of her series for some reason, but I have heard good things about that one!

I do like to be there when a very important character is first introduced, so I think I will definitely read Inversion now. :)

message 13: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I have both Sunrise Alley and Alpha in my To-Read pile.

message 14: by new_user (last edited Nov 11, 2010 11:23AM) (new)

new_user | 755 comments I think it's a good idea to read them in order of publication too. I think the tone of the series is much more smooth and continuous that way.

Based on reading the Pern series in order of publication and the Vorkosigan series in chronological order.

message 15: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I agree, NU. I saved a few of the Vorkosigan books to savor slowly. So far my favorite series are: Skolian Empire, Dune, Vorkosigan, and the Dock 5 series. All have at least a few books that are RSF-ish.

message 16: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments I started to read them in publication order, but felt I was missing a lot of pieces. I loved Primary Inversion! Then I read Catch the Lightning, and knew something was off. So now I am reading in chrono order, starting with Skyfall which takes place before all the others (Soz's parents), next will be Schism and The Final Key, which will answer a lot of the back story questions I had.

I am also very interested in the Sunrise Alley series, thanks for letting us know about the free ebook edition, going to go d/l it right now!

message 17: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments I had to put Ascendant Sun down yesterday. Depressing. The first book about Kelric, The Last Hawk, was depressing too, and didn't exactly have a happy ending. Sun picks up right after Hawk ends, and pretty much right after most of the events in The Radiant Seas. Is this man ever going to have a happy ending in his life? When are things going to start getting better for him?

I hope there will be some romance for him in this book.

message 18: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments There is...for a while. A couple of times during the series.

But then his story continues in many of the books, telling the story of most of his adult life. I haven't read Diamond Star, but the books before that tell what happens to him and, no, there's no "ending" yet because his very long life is still ongoing in the saga. He hasn't found a true love that can live as long as he does yet. But at the end of the book written before Diamond Star, he's very powerful and basically seems like he's at the height of his life, however bittersweet it is.

I'm certain there'll be more to his story. It's almost like he's replaced Soz as one of the main characters in the series.

If I remember right he actually meets one of his big loves at the end of Ascendant Sun when he escapes. That's the one where he's captured by the female Trader, right? The Trader plays a very important role later in the series too, a part that makes you rethink a bit of how she was when she captured Kelric.

I admit, I love the series, but it's definitely dark and has some depressing moments. It's not light and happy most of the time.

message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments Yes this is the one and I'm at the point where he's just been captured.

I'll definitely keep reading, just have to read it in short chunks so I don't get depressed over it.

message 20: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I don't blame you. His captivity isn't pretty, but I've read worse. I won't tell you that his tragedies are all over since one future book, and I can't remember which one now, had me crying. But then it gets happier for him.

But I can say the end of Ascendant Sun is hopeful for him and a beginning.

message 21: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments Good to know, thanks.

message 22: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments You're welcome.

message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments Just finished Ascendant Sun. It was awesome! Next I will be reading Spherical Harmonic. Skipping Quantum Rose for now since its a stand alone. I really want to read what will happen next for the family.

message 24: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments Glad you liked it!

message 25: by Anne (new)

Anne (booklover6) | 23 comments Just finished Spherical Harmonic. Excellent! And read a short story that takes place about that time, The Shadowed Heart, this morning. Very good. I had decided to read Quantum Rose later, but now I wish I had read it before SH, as some of the events were referenced. Anyway, I'm ready to start Moon's Shadow in the next couple days, can't wait! Have to finish another book first. After that I'll read Quantum Rose.

message 26: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments I liked Spherical Harmonic too! It was wonderful!

message 27: by AnnaM (last edited Jun 19, 2011 06:33AM) (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments She wrote them out of order a bit. (And I read them out of order!) Catch the Lightning takes place 50 years after Radiant Seas and is a standalone.

Yes, The Radiant Seas is the second part of Soz's story. She appears in other books as a child or an adult.

This is one of my favorite series. Some of the books a excellent and some are just good.

Yes, you can read the later books without Catch the Lightning.

message 28: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments From WikiPedia:
Reading order by internal chronology Note: the name(s) between the parentheses denotes the main character. (From Anna--some of these are hard to find short stories.)

1.Skyfall (Roca Skolia, Eldrinson Althor Valdoria, Kurj Skolia)
2."The City of Cries" (Major Bhaaj, P.I.)
3."Stained Glass Heart" (Havyrl Torcellei Valdoria)
4.Schism (Sauscony Lahaylia Valdoria)
5.The Final Key (Sauscony Lahaylia Valdoria/rest of her family)
6."The Edges of Never-Haven" (Denric Winward Valdoria)
7."Light and Shadow" (Kelricson Garlin Valdoria)
8."Aurora in Four Voices" (Sauscony Lahaylia Valdoria)
9."Walk in Silence" (Jess Fernandez)
10.The Last Hawk (Kelricson Garlin Valdoria)
11.Primary Inversion (Sauscony Lahaylia Valdoria) (This was the first published book)
12.The Radiant Seas (Sauscony Lahaylia Valdoria/rest of her family)
13."The Shadowed Heart" (Jason Harrick)
Aftermath of Radiant War - the following stories have a great deal of overlap but follow different characters
1.Ascendant Sun (Kelricson Garlin Valdoria)
2.The Quantum Rose (Kamoj Argali, Havyrl Torcellei Valdoria)
3.Spherical Harmonic (Dyhianna Selei)
4.The Moon's Shadow (Jaibriol Qox Skolia)
14.Diamond Star (Del-Kurj Arden Valdoria)
15."A Roll of the Dice" (Jeremiah Coltman)
16."The Ruby Dice" (novella, Kelricson Garlin Valdoria)
17.The Ruby Dice (full length novel, Jaibriol Qox Skolia and Kelricson Garlin Valdoria)
18."Ave de Paso" (Akushtina Santis Pulivok)
19.Catch the Lightning (Akushtina Santis Pulivok, Althor Vyan Selei)

message 29: by Canoe (new)

Canoe | 41 comments Anyone know where I can find all these books as ebooks? or are Primary Inversion and Sunrise alley the only two?

message 30: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore Canoeu wrote: "Anyone know where I can find all these books as ebooks? or are Primary Inversion and Sunrise alley the only two?"

I went on . There are about 10 different Catherine Asaro books listed. I'm not 100% sure because I didn't click on the various books listed, but I think at least some of them may be a part of the series.

message 31: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments A lot of them are part of the series. Actually, many of the short stories are in anthologies, some of which I think are ebooks.

My favorite of the short stories is Aurora in Four Voices, but I recommend reading it after reading the Soz stories like Primary Inversion. Gives it more power when you realize what's going on.

I can't help much with the ebook forms since I have mostly hardcopies. I believe Aurora is online though. I would NOT start the series with it though.

Just a note that I didn't read them in the order above. I started with Primary Inversion, the perfect intro to the series.

In my opinion, Skyfall is okay to read as a newbie to the series, though I think PI is a stronger book. It isn't necessary to read the short stories if you can't find them. They're like bright sprinkles on top of the novel cake. :-) I still haven't found some of them and I've looked for a long time.

The only books I haven't read are Catch The Lightning, Diamond Star, and the new one that I don't think is out yet.

message 32: by AnnaM (last edited Oct 20, 2011 07:12PM) (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments At that ebook site, Irresistible Forces has the Skolian story "Stained Glass Heart" in it and all of the Catherine Asaro books listed there ARE in the Skolian series.

Irresistible Forces also has what I was told was a romantic SFR Miles Vorkosigan story in it called "Winterfair Gifts". I haven't read that one yet either.

message 33: by AnnaM (new)

AnnaM (annamc) | 1111 comments Enjoy! I read it long after Primary Inversion so it had some "ah ha!" type moments for me.

message 34: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (quaisior) | 2 comments Catherine Asaro's Skolian series is one of my favorite science fiction series. I've read every novel and short work, some multiple times.

message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan Cartwright (susancartwright) I am with you. I love SF romance and have read Catherine Asaro's Skolian series more than once, too. I love a romance in paranormal, regency - etc but you just can't beat a futuristic romance and hers are classic

message 36: by Jo (new)

Jo Beverley (jobeverley) | 5 comments A post in Linnea Sinclair's section reminded me to post here. Yes, Quantum Rose is the most romantic, but my favourite is The Last Hawk, role reversal and multiple partners and all. Loved that book!

Mind you, I think I like role reversal when well done.

message 37: by Paul (new)

Paul (paullev) | 12 comments Here's a new video of Catherine Asaro singing "Looking for Sunsets (in the Early Morning)" - a song I wrote -

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