Science fiction and romance…can ever the twain meet?
One of my all-time favorite works of science fiction is Ringworld, by Larry Niven. He creates a colorful cast of characters who set out on an epic journey to explore an anomaly, a ring-shaped, artificially created, giant planet containing an earth-like atmosphere and ecosphere. The crew includes the giraffy guy…that’s how I like to remember him, and the lucky guy – because in this story, luck is genetic. Ringworld is my husband’s very favorite work of science fiction.
So last night, hubby was reading my book, Daughters of Persephone, on his Kindle. Since I’m stuck downstairs with the new puppy, he came down to discuss his thoughts.
“I really like it,” he said, “but I’m feeling an existential conundrum coming on.”
“Oh?” I asked. “What sort of existential conundrum?”
“Can science fiction and erotic romance exist in the same book?”
“I don’t know,” I replied, “but they coexist in both Captured and Daughters of Persephone .”
“Yes,” he said, “but true science fiction aficionados might go into shock when they come upon an explicit sex scene while fans of erotic romance might not get the science fiction, especially the science fiction references you’ve included.”
“Well, hmmm, but that’s what I’ve written.”
“But is there a market for this? Is there an audience?”
Good question, hubby! I don’t have a clue. I hope so!
Can the two genres meet in the middle? In Dune, for example, while the romance takes a backseat to the overarching messianic theme, there is love in the book. In George R.R. Martin’s series, A Game of Thrones, there is sex, not what I would consider erotic sex or romance, but sex nonetheless.
Science fiction romance is not Paranormal, i.e., Vampire Romance, Shifter Romance, Were Romance, Faerie Romance, time travel romance…those fall more in the realm of fantasy and are a sort of pop-culture genre right now. Science fiction is not necessarily post-apocalyptic, although it may contain post-apocalyptic elements, nor is it quite Steam Punk – which does contain elements of science fiction. I don’t know whether science fiction romance is a separate genre, a sub-genre, a new genre, a finding its way genre…and I have no idea if there is a fan base. From what I’ve read on the blogs, there isn’t, not really.
Here’s what pops into my head when I imagine a damn good science fiction story containing romance and sex in addition to outstanding science fiction elements – The Terminator.
Any ideas? Yes? No? Regardless, I don’t plan to stop writing ‘em.