Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Out of this World... but still Romance

The very first science fiction that I remember reading was Jules Verne's THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. I know, it isn't science fiction, strictly speaking, but it does have Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. So I went back and read TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. I was thirteen and in love with Captain Nemo. I didn't know that Nemo was the nearly perfect embodiment of the ultimate Romantic Hero. I discovered that many years later as I studied for my college comprehensive exams. Verne knew exactly what he was doing with the tortured hero who had dark secrets. See, I did learn something!

In college, during the 1960's, I was introduced to the Space Trilogy of C.S. Lewis. I fell in love all over again. I was enthralled with Lewis's ability to combine science fiction, pagan myth, and Christian thought. It worked! In OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET, I loved the hero's consternation upon discovering that Earth was quarantined from the rest of the Universe. Moral turpitude, I suppose. I can remember the exquisite imagery of PERELANDRA, and the sheer terror of recognizing my modern world in THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH.

Along the way, I discovered Tolkien, Burroughs, Heinlein, Herbert, Clarke, Asimov, Le Guin, McCaffrey, and many others. I liked their stories, but I wanted something more. I just didn't know what it was.

Then I found a book by Jayne Ann Krentz, SWEET STARFIRE. This was it! It's a great blend of science fiction and romance. The science is simply an accepted part of their world; the characters are sensible; they get their HEA; and the bad guy gets his...whatever - in spades. Regrettably I have a viscous streak. I like the bad guy to get his.

I also found a book by Ann Maxwell, aka Elizabeth Lowell, TIMESHADOW RIDER. This, unfortunately little known book, is utterly lyrical. The yearning of the hero and heroine for one another is palpable. The book's one drawback is that it takes several pages to catch on to what is happening, but I highly recommend it for the reader who enjoys beautiful writing.

Next, I found some of the newer Sci-Fi Romance authors. Robin D. Owens, C.J. Barry, Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, and Lois McMaster Bujold. They are all loads of fun and write with imagination, incorporating nonstop adventure with true love, and often a kitty or two. Visit their websites. Their links are at the side of the page.

With all of this fun and inspiration, I resolved to write a book.


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future


Brantley said...

There's been a whole bunch of new translations of Verne lately, including MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and 20,000 LEAGUES.

If you don't know about Cordwainer Smith, Baen has reissued his collected works in two volumes. And amon contemporary womwn writers, don't forget C.J. Cherryh, Elizabeth Moon, Catherine Asaro and Nancy Kress.


Frances said...

Thanks Brantley. I have C.J. Cherrhy and Catherine Asaro on my TBR List. It has been some years since I read Elizabeth Moon. I think that I need to read some of her newer work. I will try Nancy Kress too. Thanks for the recommendations.


Tammy said...

Hi Frances,

Since you liked Timeshadow Riders, hav you also tried her Fire Dancer books? Unfortunately she only wrote 3 so there's no ending to the series, but it's another good read IMO.


Frances said...

Hi Tammy,

Welcome to my blog. It is great to see a RBL here. To answer you question, I read the first two books in the Fire Dancer Trilogy, but have not been able to get my hands on Dancer's Illusion. I liked the first two, but somehow, TSR just spoke to me as an artist. I guess it is just my technicolor mind. :-D

Tammy said...

I was lucky enough to get all three of the Dancer series a few years ago when they were re-issued. Illusion is different to say the least.

And I know what you mean about TSR, I LOVE that book, there's just something about it. If nothing else appeals to me I go and find it, and everything's right again.

Keep writing Frances, keep writing!

Frances said...

Thank you Tammy! A writer appreciates all the encouragement that she can get. Keep cracking that whip and I will keep writing. In fact, after this post it is into hibernation with my manuscript. :-)