Thursday, May 29, 2008

Written on

Space Disco Lives!

In Catherine Spangler’s SHADOWER, a passage refers to a ship’s engine as a “stardrive.” Now when I encounter such description, I experience a total doublethink reaction. (This has everything and nothing to do with the post title, so bear with me.)

One reaction is um, okay, creative license and all that, but I highly doubt NASA or its future counterpart is going to adopt the term when space travel evolves to the point we read about in books. As in approaching the speed of light, or FTL, warp drive, or anything else astrophysicists and their brethren prefer to call it.

The other is oh my, that is so romantic. It’s a Calgon-take-me-away moment. Just suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride.

In light of that observation, my dear passengers, I present the entertainment portion of the evening (courtesy of my otherworldly colleague Agent Z, a sleek, intrepid spy who hitches a ride here from time to time during her missions).



Our Master Chef is serving up popcorn & nut caramel clusters. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the video for the Sarah Brightman ballad “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper”!!



Doesn’t get any better than that. Now that you’ve seen it, what’s your doublethink response?

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Written on

Technology So Advanced It’s Magic


NASA’s recent mission to the red planet got me thinking about technology. Remember those fifties Tex Avery cartoons about the future? “Car of Tomorrow,” “House of Tomorrow,” etc.



I actually have to credit those shorts with my lifelong interest in science fiction. As each new invention splashed across the small screen every Saturday morning, a sense of wonder washed through me from head to toe. I remember thinking that those scenarios were really going to happen. (Er, okay, I still do). Despite the groan-inducing humor, I think those shorts tapped into something we all would love to see happen in our lifetime.

Check out “Five Sci-Fi Scenarios That Will Come True” (thanks to SF Signal for the link).

But technology is more than just the sum of its parts, right? It’s groundbreaking. It’s amazing. It’s sexy (especially attached to a six-foot plus Adonis with ripped abs, rock hard buttocks, and…well, you get the picture!).

To be equitable, let me amend that last sentence to read “…especially attached to a ravishing beauty with flowing hair, bodacious breasts, and legs that go on forever....



There’s technology that expands our horizons, makes life easier, or renders day to day survival infinitely more dangerous. Certainly, technology can be overwhelming and incomprehensible. There’s often an underlying fear that it will conquer our very humanity. Artists, filmmakers, and writers process these issues in the art they create.

Sometimes, especially in works of science fiction, the science and technology are inaccessible to readers without a scientific background. But that doesn’t make the technological discoveries and innovative ideas any less wonderful. At the worst, some of us just won’t be able to travel to those worlds. But never fear—there are others.

(Kind of like in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK when Yoda announced “There is another!” I know it made me want to be a Jedi Knight).

Anyway, that’s why I think speculative romance is such a great addition to genre fiction. There’s a range of stories in books and film and television whether you like your science hearty and complicated or so accessible you’d understand it in your sleep. Plus, a romance unfolds. Hello! What’s not to love?

Now, I’m turning the discussion over to you. What do you consider the most interesting/unusual/sexiest technology you’ve read about/seen in a film/tv show? (My vote: those nifty sunglasses from THEY LIVE. Do they offer UV protection as well, I wonder?)



Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Written on

We Have A Winnahhh!

I asked the randomizer droids to run a list of those who wanted to participate and...congratulations, SciFiBookCat, you won a copy of Linnea Sinclair’s FINDERS KEEPERS! Please email your address to sfrgalaxyNOSPAM@gmail.com (don’t forget to remove the NOSPAM).

Thanks to all who entered (and those who hung around just for the greatness that is SFR). Everyone had so many insightful comments that I can’t wait to chat with you more. Now, onto the news....


BIG RELEASE TODAY!

Susan Grant’s MOONSTRUCK is now available! Stay tuned because within the next two weeks, I’m giving away a copy to one lucky visitor. Plus, we’ll have ourselves a big fancy shindig to celebrate Susan Grant’s work as well as the release of another great science fiction romance.

In the meantime, I want to fill you in on all the super author events happening around the country (*and* in Canada, woot!).



If you’re going to the Book Expo in L.A. on June 1, be sure and look for Kage Baker.

Eve Kenin is appearing at Book Expo Canada. Details are at her Web site.

Connie Willis will emcee the Locus Awards Banquet June 20 & 21.

Pauline B. Jones will be at ApolloCon June 27-29; full details here.

And finally:

Linnea Sinclair will present RWAOnline’s June 2008 Workshop

WORLD BUILDING FOR WRITERS. OR, WHY EVERYONE IN THE GALAXY SHOULDN'T SPEAK ENGLISH

Registration Period May 19 – June 1

***** Permission to Forward Granted *****
RWA® Online Chapter presents:

Class: World Building for Writers. Or, Why Everyone in the Galaxy shouldn't Speak English

Instructor: Linnea Sinclair
Dates: June 2 – 13
Registration Opens: May 19
Registration Deadline: June 1
Fee: $15 Non-Chapter members. RWAOL Chapter #136 members; free.
Payment method: PAYPAL is recommended!

It’s safe and fast! Check and money orders also accepted.
Registration: www.rwaonlinechapter.org/campus.htm

NOTE: -Use your real First and Last Name & Choose Pay Option.
ONLY Chapter #136 members choose the Chapter Member option button.
For more information: workshops@rwaonlinechapter.org

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Commercial fiction today has become more texturally-rich with the melding and combing of genres, from romantic suspense to urban fantasy to science fiction romance…and beyond. Yet too often, writers ignore the depths available and present the reader only with shades of well-known, present day locales with a magician, vampire or rocket ship added. Or else writers go to such depths that the novel ceases to be enjoyable fiction and instead becomes a dry, intergalactic travelogue or magical species encyclopedic entry.

Multi-award winning science fiction and fantasy romance author Linnea Sinclair's workshop will teach you how to get the most out of your multi-genre novel and explore the importance of world building. You'll learn how to use your 'strangeness budget'; how to create customs, religions, histories, politics and languages; how to maintain reader interest in things known and unknown, and have fun at the same time.

BIO: Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA, science fiction romance author Linnea Sinclair has become a name synonymous for high-action, emotionally intense, character-driven novels. Reviewers note that Sinclair's novels "have the wow-factor in spades," earning her accolades from both the science fiction and romance communities. Sinclair's current releases are GAMES OF COMMAND (PEARL Award winner and RITA finalist) and THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES (PEARL Award Honorable Mention), with SHADES OF DARK scheduled for July 2008.

A former news reporter and retired private detective, Sinclair resides in Naples, Florida (winters) and Columbus, Ohio (summers) along with her husband, Robert Bernadino, and their two thoroughly spoiled cats. Readers can find her perched on the third barstool from the left in her Intergalactic Bar and Grille at www.linneasinclair.com.

FORMAT: Course is conducted via online discussion (bulletin) board on the RWA® Online website. Non-chapter members MUST complete both the workshop registration AND the discussion board login registration for access. Instructions for login are presented after the registration pages (or to return to the login instructions, go to www.rwaonlinechapter.org/WorkshopAppTY.html. The workshop is available for up to one week after the end date and a downloadable archive of the workshop will be available the week following the workshop.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Written on

Science Fiction Romance—A Refresher


Ladies and gentlemen, please strap on your harnesses. If you glance through the view port on your left, there’s a lovely view of the Large Magellanic Cloud Galaxy.

As we hit warp speed, sit back, relax, and enjoy some sparkling pomegranate juice and chocolate covered strawberries—compliments of The Galaxy Express’ master chef.

Our goal is to explore the fascinating and exciting aspects of two genres that, while superb on their own, are just as equally intriguing when combined. Science fiction + romance has many faces. For a fab breakdown, please visit author Linnea Sinclair’s article here.

All done? Peachy.

Science fiction and romance have been combined for decades by artists who weave tales about the emotional intricacies of relationships and love against a cosmic backdrop.

The backdrop could be anywhere, in any time, from a near-future setting on Earth...


...to exotic starships and worlds.


It’s Pretty Smokin’ Hot

Romance in a science fiction story renders the greater conflict/plot into sharper relief (or physical release, natch). The primary romance also reflects other kinds of love: love of one’s home world, people, culture, technology, exploration, and more.

On the flip side, science fiction elements add a larger-than-life scope to the grand tradition of falling in love. Couples grapple with the usual assortment of relationship issues, but also with war, scientific discoveries, colonization/immigration/emigration, galactic empires, crime cartels, evolution, and strange, mysterious phenomena.

Heady stuff. But now, discerning passengers, I want to make the pleasure of your acquaintances. I’m going to give one lucky visitor a copy of Linnea Sinclair’s FINDERS KEEPERS. The contest is open until 6 p.m. Sunday, May 25, EST (limited to U.S. residents). This paperback is a unique edition since publisher Bantam has since changed the cover.



To enter, simply post a comment and tell me why you read science fiction romance. Or discuss your penchant for Far Out Space Nuts—it’s all good!

Joyfully yours,

Heather



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Written on

A Mighty Cosmic Wind Is Blowing

Late-breaking Announcement!

From the Intergalactic Bar & Grille:
“Noveltalk is honored to have as its guest this week, SFR author extraordinaire, Robin D Owens who will discuss her book, Heart Dance. Door prize will be given.

Date: Wednesday, June 21
Time: 9:00 PM Eastern time

Place: Noveltalk.com

Hope to see you there!

Mo, Noveltalk Chat Coordinator www.myspace.com/BoylanBabe"

While you wait, you can peruse some of the other lively discussions about how science fiction romance is a growing trend.

B&N

Alien Romances

Spacefreighter’s Lounge

Jordan Summers’ Blog

io9

And what do you know, turns out women actually like science fiction! Who knew?! ;)

(Thanks to Lisa Paitz Spindler for da link).

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Postus Scriptus: Stay tuned for an upcoming book giveaway!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Written on

A Three-Hour—I Mean, A Three-Minute Tour


This post is about, like, the technical things and stuff. For y’know, this blog….

May I present “The Authors.” On your left is a list of scribes who fall somewhere in the science fiction—romance continuum. Authors are roughly divided by decade, denoting the span of years in which he/she first started publishing some form of SFR. I thought it’d be more informative than one massive list.

In this list, you’ll encounter authors whose works range from science fiction with romantic elements, to science fiction romance, to futuristics, time travel tales, and even futuristic erotic romances. Not every romance takes center stage or has a traditional Happily Ever After, but many do.

Feel free to browse each author’s works on your own, but as time goes by (Most! Cliché term! Ever!), I will highlight which specific book(s) fall within the SFR category. Will the style and quality vary? Of course. But those elements are subjective, so buyer be warned (or, um, not warned?).

And the rest…

The other links are fairly self-explanatory, so allow me to explain. You’ll find links to sites with terrific, in-depth articles on SFR, resources on writing speculative fiction, and communities for writers, among others. Yes, some of the sites are currently in limbo, but there’s loads of information to explore there nonetheless.

Under “Heather’s Top Ten…” I compiled a list of my favorite movies and television shows that blend science fiction and romance in some way. These highly subjective lists are subject to change based on future (heh!) discoveries.

I’m allergic to spoilers, so I’ll often discuss works in generalities. Spoiler Alerts will be posted as needed. I welcome feedback of all kinds except when it’s unkind. Additionally, I’m open to facilitating book discussions if anyone’s interested. Just contact me with any requests.

Before signing off, I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge the advice and support I received for this endeavor.

To begin, many, many thanks to Mr. Engineer for his amazing technical wizardry. Because of him, this blog is in great hands.

I owe a heartfelt thanks to Kimber An for her advice and all around superness.

Big kudos to author Linnea Sinclair and the esteemed members of the Intergalactic Bar & Grille. The author list is what you see before you because of them. I’m humbled by their collective wealth of knowledge. Go forth and Join It.

Thanks also to authors Susan Grant and Jill Myles for their authorly advice.

Thanks to Jenna Glatzer and the gang at Absolute Write. Your support is priceless.

Lastly, to the ladies of Alien Romances, I salute you.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Monday, May 19, 2008

Written on

All Aboard -- We're Ready to Launch!


Welcome to THE GALAXY EXPRESS.

I’m launching this blog as a celebration of the romance in science fiction and the science fiction in romance. Now a site covering science fiction romance isn’t entirely new (see sidebar). But the phenomenon itself is evolving rapidly—so rapidly in fact that it may be challenging to keep up. That’s why I’m here, to facilitate the development of a community where like-minded connoisseurs can converge to share this exciting sub-genre.

Who am I? An ardent fan—one who’s been devouring science fiction books, films, and television shows since childhood. Yet I always gravitate to the stories with romantic elements, pining for the hero and heroine as much as I do for the plot or futuristic setting.

With that in mind, this blog will showcase the blended genres of both science fiction and romance in the most scintillating way possible. Maybe it’s my fangirl calling, but I view it as a chance to (re)introduce this unique mix to interested people (and extraterrestrials, if any are reading).

In short, I went galaxy hopping for as many goodies as I could find so you don’t have to!

A Wormhole by any Other Name….

For ease of discussion, and inclusiveness, I’ve decided to call the blend of science fiction and romance in all of its glorious forms as “science fiction romance” (what a stretch!). If, dear passenger, you want to call it something else, by all means do so. (Over at Alien Romances, Rowena Cherry offers up the catchy “Speculative Romance”). It really doesn’t matter what appellation you choose, just as long as we’re talking about it!

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not being compensated, cajoled, coerced or cuckolded in any way, shape, or form for this endeavor. To quote No. 6, “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!

FREE Stuff in the Pipeline

With the requisite intro out of the way, are you ready to board? Great! Here’s what you can look forward to in the coming months:

• Festive commentary on SFR in books, films, and television
• Author spotlights and interviews
• Giveaways
• Links to related sites/articles
• Interactive discussions
• Oh, and did I mention the free loot?

It Takes A Village to Maintain A Lunar Outpost

Now, it (almost) goes without saying that this venture is a two-way street. So I welcome lots and lots and lots of comments and discussion. Together we can make this a totally happening resource party for all things science fiction romance. If, adventurous reader, you haven’t read any SFR stories but are willing to expand your horizons, then you are in for some wonderful tales. Fantastic tales. Tales about strange dimensions and far-flung galaxies. Stories exploring the nether regions of space, exotic beings, stunning heroes and complex heroines.

Stories about great, epic love.

So, without further ado, ready your tickets (they’re free) and join me on the maiden voyage to the sea of stars aboard the Galaxy Express!

Joyfully yours,

Heather