Friday, October 17, 2014

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Sci-Fi Romance Heroines and the Chivalric Code

I noticed a curious thing about some of the science fiction romances I've been reading in the past year or so. Admittedly, the pattern I noticed is general in nature and based on a small number of self-selected books.

But it really jumped out at me, so I decided to bring up the topic for discussion. Here's what I noticed: 

Many of the stories with white heroines feature a prominent rescue and/or capture fantasy narrative. Regardless of how physically strong or intelligent the heroine, the hero captures and/or rescues her at some point in the story (sometimes more than once). The heroine occasionally contributes to the mission (many of the books in question have an external plot), but the role of savior is consistently assigned to the hero.

Based on the same sample, books with a PoC heroine feature a different type of fantasy narrative. It involves the heroines either doing the rescuing/protecting, or playing an equal role with the hero in saving the day/defeating the villain. And the capture fantasy is noticeably absent.

The sample of books I've read could be an anomaly, but on the other hand, the pattern emerged at a time when more SFRs with PoC heroines have become available/visible to me.

The sample is small and completely unscientific (and therefore your reading sample may yield different results), but felt significant enough that I wanted to analyze the pattern. Why did part of the core fantasy strike me as markedly different, and why did it seem split along racial lines?
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Need Your Feedback: Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly Survey

Please take a moment to complete a survey for the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly (of which I'm a contributing staff member). Your feedback is very important and will help us build a better magazine. Thanks for your help!

Joyfully yours,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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My Interview With Lara Nance At The CTR Steampunk Page

I've been tucking into The Airship Adventure Chronicles by Lara Nance, which begins with REVENGE OF THE MAD SCIENTIST. The story has a pulpy, action-adventure feel and features an ensemble cast of characters.

I've seen the author describe it as in the vein of "Around the World in Eighty Days" and based on my experience with the first book, I agree with that description. Except Ms. Nance's tale features a heroine with agency at its core, so score one for steampunk romance!

After discovering this trilogy, I reached out to the author and invited her to Heather Massey's Steampunk Cafe for an interview so we could learn more about her work. See you there!

Joyfully yours,


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

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Mini SFR Action-Adventure Roundup

Below is a random short list of action-adventure romantic SF and sci-fi romances. Between my reading and research, it seems like many SFR books lately have featured romances paired with a lot of chases, combat, and stuff blowing up!

So, just because, here's a snapshot of the range of action-adventure romances you can find in SFR (pretty great range if you ask me!):

FORTUNE'S PAWN: Paradox #1 -- Rachel Bach

Romantic SF

Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn't give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

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Re-release Announcement: Heather Massey's IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS

IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS, my Weird West steampunk romance, is now available as a self-published edition. When Lyrical Press merged with Kensington, I opted to have the rights reverted back to me.

This new edition comes with a few changes. One, illustrator Christine Griffin updated the cover art:

Second, the ebook includes all-new content, including my short story "Steambot Rampage."* If you just want access to the short ("sweet" heat level), you can download it for free. Click here for links.

Readers will also discover a whole bunch of information about steampunk romance since I included previous posts I've written about the genre (updated slightly to reflect newer titles). All the bonus content adds up to over 10k words!

Having the freedom to share information about steampunk romance books by other authors in one of my ebooks is really exciting to me. I had the opportunity to pay-it-forward, so I took full advantage!

Third, the new price is a budget-friendly $2.99. IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS is available through Smashwords, Sandal Press, All Romance eBooks, and Amazon.

Joyfully yours,


*You may recall my previous post regarding donating proceeds from sales of "Steambot Rampage" to the American Cancer Society. Before making this story available for free, I donated all profit as promised on 9/10/14. If you contributed via a purchase, thanks for your support!