Sunday, September 1, 2013

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SFR News & Links For September 2013

Have fun opening this month's box of sci-fi romance flavored chocolates!

New releases

HERO'S END (space opera) - JC Cassels

When a former lover with a score to settle nearly brings Blade Devon’s charmed life to an end, he seeks refuge – and some time to lick his wounds – with an old friend…leaving the woman he loves behind.

Bo Barron is no frail flower, despite her masquerade as Blade’s Joy Babe Mistress.  She straps on her sidearm and goes off alone to track her missing father, kicking off a search that stretches across the galaxy – from the lair of the gruesome Rex, a clone with a taste for sentient biomatter, to Rogue’s Cross, the most dangerous space station in the outer Commonwealth.

Someone close to her doesn’t want Bo’s father found. To make matters worse, the First Sector Overlord orders Blade’s holofeature career over and Bo out of his life for good.

Surrounded by betrayal, Bo and Blade turn to each other…but the secrets he protects threaten to tear them apart.

One way or another, returning Bo’s father to his rightful place and following their hearts will mean HERO’S END.


Book two of Agamemnon Frost

Edgar Mason is ready to embark upon his new life at Agamemnon Frost's side. But all is not perfect. His Martian overlord, Pandarus, has implanted a dark voice in his mind, a voice that urges betrayal. And though Mason can keep close to Frost, there's little room for romance under the watchful gaze of the engineers from Station X.

That changes when Mason and Frost reopen their investigation into their old enemy's whereabouts. Posing as double agents and investigating cryptic rumors of "hollow ships," they find him impersonating a London banker and worm their way into his confidence.

But their success brings them trouble in spades. Pandarus takes them into the belly of his ships, where he plans to transfigure them into mindless automata. And with Earth on the brink of invasion, Frost's old flame Theodora reappearing and Pandarus's brainwashing growing more effective, Mason and Frost will find their bond tested as never before.

See how it all began in Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death.

FALSE SALVATION (Borealis #10, space opera) - A.R. Norris

Nami Sato is a destined birth breeder for a sleep vessel society, but she wants more. After a singularity event, she chances an escape to the nearest station, Borealis, only to end up in the prison medical ward. Before two unscrupulous guards can sell her into the sex world infesting the station, Commander Raines talks one of his officers into taking her in as a nanny.

Young Adrien Natal Ovidio, both disgusted with the vision his father wants for his people and already half in love with Nami through her video journals, escapes in Nami's footsteps. But the new residents hold secrets that interest both TPP and the Rebellion. Now the commander and lieutenant commander must get them to safety before TPP gets their grubby hands on them.

ICE RED (futuristic Snow White) - Jael Wye

Mirror, mirror, full of stars,
Who will claim the throne of Mars?

The princess: Engineer Bianca Ross, heir to a megacorporation and the Mars elevator, needs to acquire a mine on the surface to secure her place in the company. All that stands in her way is the mine's charming owner, Cesare Chan.

The evil stepmother: Victoria Ross is plotting to gain control of Mars. She plans to assassinate Bianca and seduce Cesare to further her goals, and Bianca's trip is the perfect opportunity.

The charming prince: Cesare shouldn't get involved. Bianca's visit could reveal the escaped slaves he's hiding at his mine, but he can't ignore a damsel in distress--especially one as beautiful as Bianca.
Alone, neither would stand a chance against Victoria. But together, they could rewrite a tale that's meant to end with Bianca's blood.

An excerpt isn't available yet, but you can learn more in an interview with the author at SFR Brigade.

Hand-to-hand combat wisdom

Donna S. Frelick's Packing a More Powerful Punch is a must-read post for authors who seek to include plausible, realistic fight scenes in their science fiction romances. Here's a snippet of her many fascinating insights, born of her experience as a trained martial artist:

Most fights last only a few seconds, but few fighters can knock someone out with one punch.  When adrenaline is high, even trained fighters miss their targets, get their techniques blocked or fail to use enough power.  The best fighters—and the writers who choreograph their moves—are able to identify and exploit weaknesses in their opponents, to use the weapons at hand and to protect themselves.

So, if all those things are true, you can’t expect your hero to fight for ten pages in an empty room, to get hit multiple times in the head with a baseball bat and keep on fighting, or to swing and miss over and over again.  Yet you see these things happen in movies a lot and on the page even more.  At least in some romance novels, the paranormal heroes have superpowers.  But if you’re writing contemporary, romantic suspense, historical or SFR with a human at the helm, please consider reality.

I know, right? Save the fantastical, drawn out fights for, say, professionals like Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Biao Yuen in films like WHEELS ON MEALS. :P (The looong castle battle in that film was pretty epic, though!)

The Mary Shelley effect

It’s true that women need more representation in science fiction, but it’s not quantity we’re after. What we all want, and should strive for, is better quality in the way women are included. Shelley’s contribution to the genre has been immense, but women are still, most certainly, changing things in sci-fi. As appreciators and consumers of science fiction, it’s up to us to affirm our need and desire for a less male-dominated pool of talent.

I love, love, love seeing articles like this. And yet (nitpick alert)…it'd be nice, at least once in a while, if authors of such posts would reference the significant group of women who write science fiction romance. SFR focuses on the highly important and relevant intersection of romance and technology. In fact, it even delivers stories about cyborgs--very Frankenstein-like characters--falling in love. Mary Shelley would be proud, if you ask me.

SFR action on Goodreads

Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance now has a Goodreads group! Check it out, yo.

Now I turn the mike over to you. Got any science fiction romance news and/or links to share?

Joyfully yours,