“Futuristic Romance”?

“… Isn’t that just Fabio in space?”

I’ve always wondered why the Futuristic Romance gains so little love among readers. It’s great stuff, if you ask me. Han and Lea; Kirk and the Green Girls; John Crichton and Aeryn Sun…I mean, man the sky’s the limit. (To INFINITY, and beyond!) And yet, FutRom gets little love among the romance readers. Since this is the sub-genre of my Seton Hill thesis, aka Catching Her Balance, I have a vested interest in wondering why the cold shoulder. I’ve come to the conclusion the reason is because Futuristic Romance is not just sex in space. Unfortunately, too many authors appear to believe that it is.

What do I mean? I look at my bookshelf and I see many Futuristic Romances. So, authors are ready to write these stories and we’ve tried. However, the reading audience turns up their nose. When I asked around, I received a universal answer. “Just sex in space. No science fiction in the story.” I wanted to protest, but then I recalled a book I once read.

The dude had the chick impaled onto his finger during some “sexytime,” and since they were in a nil-gravity environment he spun her around his digit like a top. She gasped and panted every time her “sweet spot” rubbed against his knuckle. In the end, the reader was told that she found a glorious release. Now, I don’t judge other authors, especially those who have received a NY contract, but that was the moment when I put the book down and vowed never to return, to the book or to that author. (I wish her loads of money and fame.)

In that moment, I had no defense to the dismissive view of my beloved sub-genre. Sadly, yes, there seems to be an idea that a Futuristic Romance is founded on the idea of exploring sex acts in space. I’ll leave off discussing the physics of all of that since I’m sure only nerds like me are interested in that topic. Instead I’ll discuss the Science Fiction genre.

Fundamentally, SF is “A genre of fiction in which the stories often tell about science and technology of the future. It is important to note that science fiction has a relationship with the principles of science—these stories involve partially true- partially fictitious laws or theories of science”(wiki) The question addressed in SF is who we are within the changes of our culture and what will happen to our humanity among the changing technology and the expanding universal conscious? The Stars, My Destination by Bester. Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury, and Roddenberry’s Star Trek.

The challenge in front of an author of FutRom is how to blend the dryness of science and the question of our sociopolitical entity to the beauty and wonderful exuberance of falling in love.

Fortunately, authors have risen to the challenge. Linnea Sinclair’s Gabriel’s Ghost, Marcella Burnard’s Enemy Within, and also Jayne Castle’s Harmony books. Even Johanna Lyndsay tried her hand at them with Warrior’s Woman and Krysten Kyle’s Rita™ award-winning Nighthawk broke boundaries.  Oh, and my Balance. *koffkoff*

So, readers, I implore you to give FutRom a chance. It’s a section that has yet to bloom but the roots are strong and vibrant and the stories are as wide and far-reaching as the velvet fabric of space itself. Not all are perfect. That happens with a genre taking baby steps.

So…where can you get a copy of Catching Her Balance? Uh, it’s currently undergoing edits and revisions and I’ve yet to decide how to shelve it. Entangled press has it in the queue but I’m considering taking it to self-pub. Who knows? The sky’s the limit!  (And I did mention the sub-genre has a “yet to bloom” thing, no?)

Wherever it arrives, and however, I’m looking at also presenting a few support novellas to keep the readers in the loop. What happened with Jago’s mother? And did someone say that Jago and Derrick shared women in the past? A ménage story or two? I’ve been known to write m/f erotica. (#justsaying.)

Stay tuned about Balance. I’m also working on the sequel, tentatively titled On the Edge.

I’ll later blog on the topic of blending genres since both of these titles face that challenge, with Balance as a Romance/Mystery and Edge as a Romance/Thriller.

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