Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SF With Romantic Elements: A Sampler

GalaxiesWhen I blogged about Kissing Cousins: Japanese SF and Science Fiction Romance, Sissy Pantelis—author and co-editor of the French SF magazine Galaxies—shared mucho delicioso information about a number of SF short stories with romantic elements. I didn’t want this information to be lost among the comments, so I did a little googling here, a little rearranging there, and am listing the information here for future reference.

I figured it’d make a good resource for those times when we might be in a position to find such stories, like trips to bookstores or conventions. But if you can’t wait that long, there are a few free stories you can enjoy right now.

I cut and pasted Ms. Pantelis’ commentaries in their entirety for the most part. My additional observations/additions are bracketed.

Sally forth and discover what might be to your liking:

Will McIntosh (his short stories appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Strange Horizons [links you straight to his stories], Asimov's,....). Romance has a central place in Will McIntosh's stories…Soft Apocalypse [review], Unlikely [free podcast of the story], & Bridesicle.

[...Unlikely is a story about how injuries and accidents are decreased within a community when a certain guy and girl are in close proximity with each other. Is it fate or is it a statistical anomaly?]

[The "Bridesicle" in Will McIntosh's story is a woman named Mira who has been cryogenically frozen after "dying" in an auto accident. She is revived for a "date" by men who are considering spending a lot of money to repair and revive her so that they could marry her. This isn't an easy set-up for Mira and she must find a way not to be "killed" again when she doesn't satisfy a prospective husband. This was a very touching story and well-worth reading.]

Year's Best Science FictionBruce Sterling's "The Blemmye's Strategem" published in Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection (2006).

[When I did a search of the title, I found this comment:

One of the best SF stories I have read is Bruce Sterling’s ” The Blimmey’s Strategy”(reprinted in the Best SF of 2005 if I am not wrong). There is this nun who is a genius in business;a chief of the order of the assassins who is a poet and a romantic; a rather kind alien who is in love with a disgusting creature, the love story between them being as moving as Romeo and Juliet of Shakespeare.

An alien in love with a “disgusting creature”?! That is just so cool! I want to know more….]

Year's Best 6British SF writer Chris Beckett’s "The Marriage of Sky and Sea" (romance is very important as the main hero changes when he falls in love with a woman from one of the worlds he explores.) [This story first appeared in Interzone, March 2000, and was “reprinted in "Year's Best SF 6", edited by David Hartwell and published by Harper Eos, 2001.” Here’s a review.]

THE BELOVED OF MY BELOVED by Ian Watson and Italian surrealist SF writer Roberto Quaglia. The stories in this book are erotic, inventive, original at the point of view of SF. There is true romance associated in inventive SF, especially in two stories of the book: "The Grave of my Beloved", a very beautiful love story that I considered as a masterpiece. And "The Beloved Time of their Lives" is considered as one of the most beautiful and romantic story in the book…. [Here is] Eric Brown's review in The Guardian.

Thanks again, Ms. Pantelis!

Joyfully yours,