Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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Grab Your Free Copy of Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #5

Here's a great way to kick off 2015: read the hot-off-the-press Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #5! At 81 pages, it's our biggest issue yet! Click here to download your free copy. (In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a contributing member.)

Check out the exquisite cover by Felipe de Barros:


Wishing all of you a safe and happy New Year!

Joyfully yours,
Heather

Sunday, December 28, 2014

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Renae Jones' HELLCAT'S BOUNTY and the "Applejack" Connection



Remember when I blogged about how the heroine in Renae Jones' TASTE OF PASSION reminded me of the character Rarity from MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC? Well, me, too, and here's why: I recently read the author's latest release, a lesbian space western science fiction romance called HELLCAT'S BOUNTY. After reading the action-adventure novella, something struck me about Anelace Rios, one of the heroines. I was like, OMG! Renae Jones did it again! She created a heroine that reminded me of an MLP character--in this case, Applejack!

Before I demonstrate the shiver-inducing "similarities" between gunslinger Anelace and apple farmer Applejack, here's the HELLCAT'S BOUNTY blurb so you can acquaint yourself with the set-up:

Lesbian romance meets adventure in the first Rosewood Space Western.

The hellcat of Rosewood station is the best of the best. Anelace Rios is a good old-fashioned troublemaker, fiercely independent, and best of all, a steady hand with a flamethrower. Carnivorous amoeba are slowly taking over the half-abandoned mining port, and the freelance exterminator rakes in big bounties killing them off—then she spends those bounties in a grand way. Work hard, play hard.

Meidani Sintlere's reputation is exactly the opposite of her wild friend. She's the station’s hardworking black market doctor. She’s shy. She's nice. She's got a weakness for imported chocolate and pastel dresses. And she gets mad as a sani-vacced cat when Anelace shows up missing chunks of skin.

The hellcat never lacks for a willing partner. Even so, Meidani's got notions to cut to the front of the line and stay there. She upends everything Anelace knows about good girls and the bad girls who don’t deserve them, and in a blisteringly hot night they go from friends to lovers.

But their new closeness forces the kind of reckoning even tough Anelace can't escape unscathed. She thrives on her job, relishes the payoff, but now she's endangering more than her own adrenaline-junkie hide—every run risks Meidani’s happiness. For the first time, Anelace is risking her shot at love.

***


Okay, so let's start with the basics. For one thing, Anelace and Applejack both begin with "A"! I know, right?! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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The Appeal of "Good Guy" Heroes In Sci-Fi Romance



During my reading of Veronica Scott's MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR, it suddenly hit me how strongly the hero fits the "good guy" mold. Mike is a Sectors Special Forces officer and he's really dedicated to his job. He's a tough soldier, but has a heart of gold. He's also honorable and protective. His mission is to save the heroine--and the day. Frankly, I don't think he knows how to do things any other way!

On top of that, I realized I'd been reading about a fair number of good guy heroes in science fiction romance. My reading pattern can be quite random, so I'm not sure self-selectiveness is the entire cause. I started to wonder if I'm seeing more good guy heroes in SFR lately or if the genre simply lends itself to them more so than, say, paranormal romance.

Here's a sampling of the books in which I encountered them recently:

SALVAGED DESTINY - Lynn Rae
REVENGE OF THE MAD SCIENTIST - Lara Nance
PARADOX - P.J. Dean
IN THE BLACK - Sheryl Nantus
SOLIA'S MOON - Lyn Brittan
NIGHT WHISPERS - Alisha Rai
WHILE YOU WERE AWAY - DJ Davis
AT STAR'S END - Anna Hackett

In terms of my overall reading experience with good guy heroes, these books are just the tip of the iceberg.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Carol Van Natta's Post About Sci-Fi Romance



During my call for 2015 science fiction romances, I discovered author Carol Van Natta and her post about Why You Should Read More Science Fiction Romance in 2015. Favorite quote: " SFR offers the best of both worlds — a vision of a futuristic universe where anything can happen, and active characters with heart (and often a laser pistol or two)."
She also released an SFR in October 2014 called OVERLOAD FLUX (Central Galactic Concordance #1). Here's the cover and blurb:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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A Few Thoughts About David MacKenzie's PERFECT SENSE



I first blogged about the movie PERFECT SENSE in 2012. At the time, based on available information the story clearly mixed science fiction and romance. So the real question was how would the film end? Would it meet SFR genre conventions?

I finally caught up with PERFECT SENSE a few weeks ago. The movie was directed by David Mackenzie and written by Kim Fupz Aakeson. Here's the premise in a nutshell: "A chef and a scientist fall in love as an epidemic begins to rob people of their sensory perceptions."

Susan (Eva Green) is the scientist and Michael (Ewan McGregor) is the chef. The setting is contemporary. They fall in love as the epidemic spreads, and their relationship is impacted by the order in which their sensory perceptions are affected. So the setting is actually apocalyptic since the story takes place while the epidemic unfolds.

Will PERFECT SENSE appeal to SFR fans?

If you don't mind bleak subject matter and bittersweet/tragic endings, you might be interested in this film. It's competently written and directed and experiments with a high concept premise. Susan and Michael are indeed together at the end, only not in the way you'd expect.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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Seeking Titles For TGE's 2015 New Release Roundup



I’m putting out a call for science fiction romance titles that will be released in 2015! Authors, if you'll have a science fiction romance released between January 1 and December 31, I would love to know about it.

On January first, I'll post a list of forthcoming titles. As the year progresses, I'll update the list. For easy reference, a link to the list will be posted on the side bar under "SFR New Releases."

All mediums and heat levels welcome. I very much want to include stories with diverse elements. I will include romantic SF and erotic SFR titles as well, and in those cases I ask that authors please keep in mind reader expectation for genre conventions. Even if a romance is secondary, it should be well-defined and have an upbeat ending in order to be included on this list.

While my goal is to have a comprehensive list, ultimately the choice to include a book—or not—is my decision.

You can post the title and a link to your Web site in the comments, or email me at sfrgalaxy “at” gmail DOT com.

Here are the titles I know about already:

Monday, December 15, 2014

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Blogging About Holiday Steampunk Romances At Coffee Time Romance

At the Coffee Time Romance Steampunk page, I'm blogging about Holiday Steampunk Romances! I invite you to check out my non-spoiler tags for Carina Press' A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS anthology as well as information about Tina Christopher's new, sizzling steampunk romance DIRIGIBLES ARE FOREVER (great title, yes?!).

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, December 14, 2014

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Link Roundup: ABC Remake of MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR



In My Love From Another Star: American Cast, Chris Lives Korea speculates about which two actors could play the leads in ABC's remake. I like his picks!

A Korean in America offers an in-depth analysis of the narrative of MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR. She also explores some of the show's flaws:
What I am trying to say is that it is easy for Korean dramas like this to bog down to be just a collection of scenes albeit nice scenes. “My love from another star” fits this case. It is less evident in the earlier episodes when there was enough initial plot generated by the premise of the show’s concept. However, once this is gone, it becomes a chore to just get through the show.

This is somewhat of a typical phenomenon for Korean dramas. However, with “My love from another star”,  it is worse since its narrative is not meant to be meandering. For god sakes, it has a ticking clock built into the basic plot premise.
Perhaps the ABC version is an opportunity to address the flaws--assuming, of course, that the ABC version doesn't introduce significant new ones!

In ABC's adaptation of "My Love From Another Star" is bound to falter (via The Filter), Allen Donne explains why he doesn't have high hopes for the remake

Thursday, December 11, 2014

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SFR News & Links For December 2014

Happy December! Sci-fi romance has had a great year. Thank you, dear passengers, for sharing your SFR adventures with me. Now it's time to wrap up with a roundup of new titles, scintillating blog discussions, and a look ahead at what SFR has in store for 2015! 

New releases
 
SPARK RISING (post-apocalyptic, superhuman; The Progenitor Saga #1) - Kate Corcino


All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising…

Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls—those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power—don’t exist. Not according to the Council.

Lena Gracey died as a child, mourned publicly by parents desperate to keep her from the Council. She was raised in hiding until she fled the relo-city for solitary freedom in the desert. Lena lives off the grid, selling her power on the black market.

Agent Alex Reyes was honed into a calculating weapon at the Ward School to do the Council’s dirty work. But Alex leads a double life. He’s leading the next generation of agents in a secret revolution to destroy those in power from within.

The life Lena built to escape her past ends the day Alex arrives looking for a renegade Spark.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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Must-Read Post: Cora Buhlert's "Of Hard SF and Messy Emotions"

Cora Buhlert wrote an insightful essay called Of Hard SF and Messy Emotions and it has immense relevance for sci-fi romance. Here's a snippet:
At the root of the anti-romance and anti-sex prejudice in large parts of the SFF community lies a deep discomfort with emotion. I’ve blogged about this before in 2011.

And indeed accusations of “This isn’t SFF” often broil down to “This story contains more emotion than I’m comfortable with”, since for some reason no one ever accuses stories about characters standing around in an SFF landscape and endlessly philosophizing about something or other of being “not SFF”. But if there’s a story that deals with relationships and emotions, even if the context is clearly speculative, then suddenly that story is accused of being not speculative enough. Bonus points if the author and/or POV characters are something other than straight white cis- and heterosexual men.
Her in-depth essay provides much food for thought and I recommend you check it out!

Joyfully yours,
Heather

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

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TAMING THE ALPHA Boxed Set Includes SFR Stories



TAMING THE ALPHA is a boxed set featuring a variety of Alpha heroes in spicy romances. It's out today, and I asked author Ella Drake if she could tell us more about the collection's science fiction romance offerings. She kindly assembled specific information and tags so interested readers could discover the stories more easily. How cool is that?!

First, here's the cover and blurb:

When an alpha is too hot to handle, what’s a girl to do? Simple…Tame the Alpha and make him purr.

From deliciously sizzling contemporary bad boys, to pulse-tingling paranormal hotties, you’re sure to fall in love and in lust with any or all of these alphas. Over twenty fabulous authors bring their A-game to tempt your every desire.

Now for the main event: