Last century (I like starting that way, it sounds impressive) I studied sociology at university and one of the things we were taught was "the sociological imagination". This was about looking at life from the outside in; taking a different perspective. Science fiction does this; whether set in outer space, the future, or a re-imagined present, science fiction challenges our reality, and in doing so, it questions the things we take for granted.
In a different environment, with different rules, what does it mean to be human? Does love exist? Can people survive a dystopian world?
Science fiction can be hopeful or despairing, softly questioning or sharply critical. I like science fiction romance for its guarantee of a happy ending. I think we all need to face the future with hope.
The challenge when meshing two powerful genres - science fiction and romance - is to balance the story. There needs to be adventure and tangible risk, a new and wonderful world (even if it's a case of re-imagining the current world), and there needs to be emotional risk, growth and conflict keeping the lovers apart. The stakes must be high for both elements.
I tend to return to Anne McCaffrey's work as classic examples of SF romance, whether her Ship Who... series or the beloved Dragons of Pern. Lately, SF romance has become decidedly sexier. These days aliens, like werewolves, need to beware of appearing on Earth for fear romance readers would demand autographs, kisses and more! Aliens have become sex objects! When I think of ALF from the 1980s TV show of that name, my mind boggles.
I hope you enjoy SciFi Week here at Here Be Magic.
***My latest SF romance is Beyond Regeneration, available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers or for 99c at Amazon.
It’s complicated. Charley Rowdon knew Dr. Jack Bradshaw years ago, before the accident, before she lost her left arm. Before her husband died. Jack is an internationally respected regeneration specialist, and he’s just made the breakthrough of the century: using QNA to grow non-human bio-enhancements on people, including himself. Think superhuman senses, claws, and even, wings.
However, when, as a journalist, Charley accepts Jack’s invitation to accompany him to his private clinic, a luxury resort on the beautiful south west coast of Australia, she finds more than medical science and altered humanity. Murder, espionage and a scientific development that Jack never ever predicted will challenge Charley to shed her grief and fear, and solve a mystery beyond imagining.
But as Charley regenerates her life, how much will she risk by loving again?
Beyond Regeneration is a novel of old grief and new beginnings. The science is fabulous, more fiction than fact, but the emotions are real. This is the story of a woman badly hurt by life who finds the courage to embrace the unbelievable, and love again.