I have the author's permission to blog, without using identifying
information, about something I learned from her via email. Namely, that a
well-known romance publisher has directed her to cut thousands of words from
her manuscript. Why? To significantly reduce elements like worldbuilding,
science fictional concepts, essential details related to the story's
antagonist, and the like in favor of the romance.
a slave, Mercury is an Arena Dog, genetically engineered to fight and die in
the Arena for the entertainment of others. Trained as a gladiator from boyhood
in a violent world, where men must form alliances and share what little bounty
they have to survive, his only goal has been to keep his men alive. But two are
dead and the rest are condemned to be hunted down and killed for sport. Worse,
their demise will leave a woman Mercury has sworn to protect, alone and
vulnerable. And then there is Samantha—a courageous human he has no right to
claim. But she is his. He feels it deep in his soul and with an ache in his
body he can’t deny.
Samantha Devlin is an indie-freight pilot who has lost everything: her ship,
her crew, and her father. When an old friend hires her as an emergency
replacement to pilot a cargo carrier for the Roma Company, she’s shocked to
learn her cargo is three, living, breathing, and dangerously sexy Arena Dogs.
When Samantha learns she’s taking the men to their deaths, she must decide is
she if willing to risking everything for a man whose customs require that he
share her with one of his men and demands he return to Roma to protect another
woman. Mercury, their leader, and Lo, his emotionally broken arena-brother,
challenge all her notions of honor, loyalty, and love. Her heart tells her Mercury
is worth any cost, but her head sees nothing ahead but disaster.
When Zyrlm Met
Sally and/or Sal: The drawbacks & perks of other-worldly love connections
in SFR/PNR & reader appeal by P.J. Dean
not-of-this-Earth. Lovers with something extra. Why are heroines and heroes of
SFR/PNR, and for that matter, the reading public, so comfy snuggling up with
extraterrestrials, lizard warriors, zombies or not-quite-human-acting folk?
Around the world, readers swoon over a sentient, not-of-this-Earth
creature as a human’s love interest. Why?
you’ve read any SFR/PNR book with this premise, you’ll know that when the
parties meet it’s rarely love at first sight. Being curious about E. T. is
entirely different from committing to E. T. From my reading of SFR/PNR, I
discovered some common drawbacks and perks that can stop and start that love
I've always been a geek. Sci-fi
books, movies, shows and games have enthralled me as far back as I can
remember. Why? Worlds and time periods filled with wonder, imaginative
technology, characters and story-lines far more diverse than any other genre. I’ve
also always been a romantic, favoring tales of love conquering all over any
other plotline, so SFR – the mashup of the two – simply does it for me.
It isn’t always easy, however, to
find good SFR entertainment. Books have been somewhat easier to come by,
because of websites like this one that seek them out help make their existence
known. But I still find it somewhat challenging to discover good movies, TV
shows and video games that could truly be defined as SFR. Sometimes it’s
because of the way they are marketed (or the lack of marketing), but mostly I
think it’s due to there just not being enough of it.
So I’d like to share a brief list non-literature
SFR entertainment that I’ve really enjoyed.
The original Star Trek was my first exposure to science
fiction, and ultimately I moved on to reading and writing fan fiction. One of
the best things about it was writing stories where I got to pair up various
So once I started writing stories of my own, I didn’t see
any issues with having a heroine who was strong, capable and unafraid to fall
in love. It was logical, as Mr. Spock would say. Why would a heroine in a
science fictional world be any different than her counterparts in other genres?
But at times there’s outright hostility to the idea of a
strong female character having a love interest. As though if she did fall in
love, she’d start sighing and draping herself across fainting couches.
Kick-ass heroine? No problem. Kick-ass heroine in a romantic
relationship? No good.
Heather Massey searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.
Heather’s debut sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Space, features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.