Thursday, November 29, 2012

10 Things I Appreciate About Science Fiction Romance

Here are 10 things that I really appreciate about science fiction romance:

* Quite a few authors of science fiction romance tackle subversion in various ways, e.g., characters, themes, and/or settings.

* SFR meets readers’ needs for stories that feature eclectic/weird/off-the-beaten-path elements. This is one of my favorite ways to broaden my horizons!

* SFR focuses on strong/unique/memorable heroines as a rule. In other words, the subgenre makes it easy for readers to find stories that include a heroine-centric focus (as opposed to the hero-centric/worship/fetish).

* Authors of SFR incorporate action-adventure elements into their stories. That kind of approach helps debunk the myth that female readers don’t like action-adventure. Because many of us do and in a variety of mediums (e.g., books, graphic novels, films, and video games). 

* SFR offers stories for romance readers who like to actively engage with the text, whether that includes social commentary, hard SF elements, more complex worldbuilding/plots, or all of the above.

* SFR is in a great position to prompt readers to question their assumptions about issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation—but in an entertaining way.

* Science fiction romance can meet the needs of readers who enjoy the dual-hero dynamic. In other words, stories wherein the heroine and hero jointly overcome a threat.

* SFR is infusing science fiction in general with a much needed dose of character-driven stories as well as stories that speculate in various ways about relationships and sexuality.

* Many science fiction romance authors have adapted to the digital medium. That makes it easier for me to access the stories, both in terms of time and affordability.

* Many authors of SFR persevere and take risks with their stories despite the ongoing challenges of the subgenre's niche status. This is hugely important because the easy thing to do would be to chase the bandwagons of romance subgenres that are an easier “sell” at any given time. Instead, authors keep supplying readers with SFR and for that I am grateful.

Are there any items you’d like to add to this list?

Joyfully yours,