Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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What's In A Name?

I'm a fan of SF pulp and campy stories, truly I am. I've seen BARBARELLA. I used to watch HE-MAN regularly. I've read my share of pulpy stories in both books and comics. Too many to list, actually. Pulp can often mean "tropes I like" so I'm always game to explore such stories.

I own this DVD set!
Having established my relationship with pulp, my interest in them doesn't mean I don't question certain elements. Lately I've been wondering about sci-fi romance stories that use a "Flash Gordon" approach to naming things. Specifically, aliens and places. Like so:

For many years, the three companions have adventures on Mongo, traveling to the forest kingdom of Arboria, ruled by Prince Barin; the ice kingdom of Frigia, ruled by Queen Fria; the jungle kingdom of Tropica, ruled by Queen Desira; the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala; and the flying city of the Hawkmen, ruled by Prince Vultan.
image source: Flash Gordon Wiki

I haven't encountered naming conventions quite so blatant as the above in SFR, but I do encounter ones that are close. To qualify, I expect those types of names in comedic SFRs or parodies, but I question their appearance in other stories, especially if there's nothing to indicate I'm supposed to interpret the names as humorous or tongue-in-cheek.

Monday, September 15, 2014

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My Latest CTR Steampunk Post, and More!

Here's some recent SFR news and happenings:

I'm gabbing about gadgets in Go, Gadgets, Go!, my latest post at Coffee Time Romance's steampunk page. If you're interested in particular types of steampunk romance technology, I also present a handy, categorized list!

Jessica E. Subject recently announced a new erotic sci-fi romance with Decadent Publishing. THE STAR PRINCESS (Beyond Fairytales) is a multicultural-style romance featuring an alien heroine and is a retelling of The Star Money by the Brothers Grimm. Here's the unofficial blurb:

In one week, Princess Ro’sa will board a spaceship, leaving her home on Minjet to be with her betrothed on Earth. The only problem is, she detests the prince’s selfish and arrogant ways, preferring to spend time with his personal aide, a man who stirs her desires in ways she never imagined possible with his radient blue eyes and smouldering lips. And oh, the way he touches her.

Will she find a way to be with the man who steals her heart, or be forced to marry the egocentric prince?

Related post: Missing in Action: Alien Heroines (via Heroes and Heartbreakers)

Friday, September 12, 2014

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Dear Readers New To Sci-Fi Romance

Dear Readers New To Sci-Fi Romance,

Greetings! I hear you're thinking of trying a sci-fi romance. That's great! I welcome you to this genre. It has plenty of stories to entertain you.

Let's briefly review some basic definitions (some of which may be unique to this blog--other readers' mileages may vary).

SFRs are romances in a technology-based setting and have an upbeat ending (HEA or HFN). Other than that, the genre encompasses a wide range of stories. Settings include but aren't limited to space opera, near-future, cyberpunk, steampunk, biopunk, and superhuman. Heat levels range from erotic SFR to "sweet."

You'll meet all kinds of heroes and heroines of various genders and orientations, from scientists to space pirates to airship captains to hackers to bounty hunters to superheroes. Some are People of Color while others have disabilities. You can read stories with lots of action-adventure as well as those that are more character-driven. Want tales with a gritty feel? SFR's got that. Is kink and capture romance more your style? Oh yeah, it's in there. Looking for some intellectual fun? A selection of books is waiting for you. Need tales with a lighthearted tone? SFR's got those, too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

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SFR News & Links Extra

Laurie A. Green of Spacefreighters Lounge announced she'll be releasing her first sci-fi romance November 1, 2014. The novelette's title is FAREWELL ANDROMEDA. I'd like to extend Ms. Green a huge congratulations because by following her posts, I know publication has been a dream of hers for a long time. 

Congratulations! *throws confetti* I'm looking forward to the read!

Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance is featuring a two part interview with The Felig Chronicles author P.J. Dean. The latest book in the series, PARADOX, releases this month. 

The interview is packed with her observations about perseverance, reading culture, diversity, and writing-related topics. This excerpt encapsulates why the series holds strong appeal for me:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

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The "Other Woman" in Sci-Fi Romance

There's a (non-spoiler) scene in Anna Hackett's AT STAR'S END in which the hero, Dathan, speaks to a flirty, gypsy-type woman who tells fortunes at an interplanetary market. Naturally, the heroine, Eos, becomes jealous upon witnessing their interaction because she's beginning to fall in love with Dathan.

Usually these types of scenes are intended to induce sympathy for the heroine because, well, she's the heroine and the hero should be paying attention to her. It can also demonstrate the precarious nature of a burgeoning romance. Such scenes may also exist to demonstrate the hero's virility--"Look! Every woman in sight is attracted to him!"

Eos seethes with resentment toward the fortune teller and refers to her once as a "trollop." Yet for me, this scene created what I'm guessing is a completely unintentional effect.

Instead of feeling indignant on behalf of the heroine, I wanted to read a science fiction romance about this fortune teller! She came across as mysterious as well as confidant about her sexuality. She's described as "a voluptuous woman in a swirl of colored skirts" and "The beaten coins circling her bare waist tinkled." Sounds cool. And she's a businesswoman! The author had established the marketplace as one involving diverse people and alien species, so that prompted me to pay closer attention to the characters I'd meet there.

I was like, sold! So...when can I read about this gypsy's romantic space adventures, Ms. Hackett?! :D