Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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How I Introduced My Daughter to Science Fiction

[This post isn't directly related to sci-fi romance, but I'm betting geek parents might find it of interest. If you prefer an alternative, check out the blog tour celebrating the release of Pippa Jay's newest SFR release, TETHERED. Or catch up with the latest free issue of the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly!]

At the Huffington Post, Justin Beach wrote about Why Your Daughters Need More Star Trek (via SF Signal). He begins with a hypothesis:
There has been a great deal of discussion, for many years, about the lack of women in science and technology and how to fix it. Although I haven't been able to find any actual studies or surveys on the topic, I'd like to propose a hypothesis: The lack of women in science and technology begins with a lack of science fiction when they were young.
A related post, and one that provides a much more comprehensive examination of the role women have played in geek culture and science, is Identity Crisis, Part 9: The Legacy of Geek Women (Fandomania):
Although mainstream media and pop culture view geek/nerd society as male-dominated, there’s a long history of female involvement in fandom. Women have played an original or integral part in significant scientific and technology related discoveries and inventions that pre-date any organized fandom or science fiction/comic book related social clubs. Wonder Woman was the first superhero character created to be a role model for females in comic books. Her first appearance was in 1941. She was aimed at an existing audience of female comic book fans. The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction dates the coinage of the term “fem fan” or “femme fan” as early as 1944.
Both articles prompted me to reflect on my role not only as a geek woman, but also as a geek mother. They resonated particularly strongly since I'd recently begun introducing science fiction stories to my eight-year old daughter. Here's the rub, though: she's too young for stuff like STAR TREK, STAR WARS, and SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, likes stories with humor, and prefers girl protagonists.

So how exactly did I spark her interest?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Sandal Press' KS Augustin Presents: Building An SFR Small Press

[Heather's note: I saw KS Augustin's store recently and was so intrigued by it that I invited her aboard to blog about her latest venture. It occurred to me an SFR micro-press is yet another way authors of SFR can increase visibility for their books and experiment with niche genre marketing techniques. This post is geared toward indie/hybrid authors, so readers or traditionally published SFR authors may want to give this one a pass, in which case... Bye! Have fun storming the space station!]

Building An SFR Small Press by KS Augustin

If we want our genre to thrive, then I think it's important for SFR authors to embrace the business side of things, in addition to the art and craft.

Okay, so we're all here. The independent writers and publishers of SFR. We're smart, savvy and we all like to be in control. If we didn't, we wouldn't be independent, right? Here goes.

If we look at the internet retail landscape as analogous to the meat retail landscape, we can imagine places like Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, and B&N as being the mega-malls. Our little enterprise can be compared to a small shop. The mega-mall will let us set up shop in their premises but, in return, will have certain rules we have to obey and will charge us a fee to cover their expenses. Assuming we produce quality goods, our success in our little shop depends on our own marketing but also on how efficiently the mega-mall drives traffic to themselves. That's all well and good but the downside is that, because we're a small player with little clout, when the mega-mall owners decide to make certain decisions or change their policies, we have to either put up with it, or get out.

(For my operation, Sandal Press, this bites most often in the area of DRM. No matter my stated preferences, there's really nothing stopping an etailer from slapping DRM on a Sandal Press title that they sell. Short of pulling out of that etailer completely, or spending months trying to sort out a solution via Customer Support (this I have done) there are few other options.)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Exclusive Cover Reveal: IN THE VOID by Sheryl Nantus

IN THE VOID (Carina Press) is book #2 of Sheryl Nantus' space opera romance series Tales from the Edge and you, my dear passengers, have an exclusive first look at the cover!

At the risk of jinxing things, I must say that SFR readers are getting positively spoiled with representative covers! I used to blog quite a bit about the lack of such cover images and now ones for books like IN THE VOID are quite common. Yay!

To hold you over until the October 16, 2014 release date, here's the blurb:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Image source: DramaFever
So. MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR. Where do I even begin?!

MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR (별에서 온 그대) is so shiny! Shiny, shiny, shiny. It's cracktastic sci-fi romance in the sense that the show has significant flaws, yet manages to entertain in a delightful way. Does it succeed despite the flaws? That'll depend on whether viewers are willing to overlook them.

MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR may also be the first show of its kind, or among the first (i.e., live action sci-fi romance soap opera). While the trope of an alien hero visiting Earth and falling in love with a human woman isn't new--in fact, it's been explored many times in SFR books--its interpretation in a visual medium is still pretty rare.

I'm going to share my experience watching this twenty-one episode show. I'll provide general impressions and tags, but will avoid major spoilers.

MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR originally aired on SBS. To catch you up to speed, here's a description and trailer:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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SFR/Steampunk Links, Plus Announcement of Short Hiatus

At the Coffee Time Romance Steampunk page, I'm presenting a roundup of links and titles.

Check out some recent Award Winning Sci-Fi and Paranormal Romance! courtesy of Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance.

SFR Brigade Presents has posted the latest batch of sci-fi romance snippets!

On the book news front, I recently found out about PRISONER (Echo's Wolf #1) by Lia Silver. The blurb tags it as PNR, but also has references genetic engineering. Either it's a PNR-SFR hybrid, or an SFR in disguise. :)

Anyway, one Goodreads review mentioned the hero has a severe dyslexia condition and that the book deals with combat related PTSD. At .99 cents (Amazon U.S.), I couldn't resist. If you're also looking to diversify your SFR/PNR reading, here's the cover and blurb so you can learn more: