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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Sci Fi Romance

   
Author Topic: Sci Fi Romance
LAJD
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If any of you write SciFi Romance, there is a group forming around this.

http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/

I know the URL say contest, its not, its a group of SciFi writers who are tired of being lumped in with the shifters and weres in the paranormal romance community and are starting a group to promote SciFi romance as a subgenre.

I mostly write SciFi romance or with romantic elements and in the last year have oscillated between both communities. If any of you do too, you may find it fun.

Leslie


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KayTi
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Thanks for the lead, this sounds like it might be right up my alley (I write YA sci-fi, there's always some kind of romance angle going on, lol.)
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LAJD
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I know, no matter what I try to write I always end up with somebody mooning after somebody else. LOL! And hey, I hear that SF romance is the next vampire!

woohoo!


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billawaboy
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Interesting. I didn't realize such a subgenre existed. What are the classic stories of the genre? The only one that comes to mind is Anne McCaffrey's short the "The Ship who Sang". What's a recent SFRom story that had big success? Would that sandra bullock/keanu reeves movie with the time travel mailbox count as SFrom?
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rstegman
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What you do is go to ROMANCE then you get the SF subgenre. There isn't a romance subgenre in science fiction.


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LAJD
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RStegman is right, there is no subgenre in SF. SF has not been, shall we say, accepting of romantic themes. There appears to be a lot more romance in Fantasy evidently dragons dig chicks. LOL. And the RWA has a very active Fantasy Future and Paranormal group that is mostly shifters, vampires and weres, (oh my) with a healthy sprinkling of dragons and magicians.

The Romance community is more inclusive than the traditional Sci Fi, they are willing to accept any other genre that layers romantic elements on top. Historic, suspense, Sci-fi or SF, mystery whatever, add 40% romance and you meet RWA definition of a romance, less than that and they will still include you for Romantic Elements if the romance is central to the plot. The RWA does require the romance to be a main element of the plot.

Your romance can be as sweet as found in a middle grade or erotica. Whatever. Can be between a man and a woman or an alien and a wombat, whatever. Make it emotionally real, touch the readers and you are there.

What is great about the RWA is the support for writers careers in education, lobbying activities and mentoring. This is an organized group. The SFR Brigade is ultimately trying for chapter membership in RWA as a Sci-Fi chapter.

If you are thinking about the TimeTravelers Wife's that is SF romance, so is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog, Linnea Sinclair...I can't find my copy but there was a WoTF story a couple of years ago that was absolutely romance.....

[This message has been edited by LAJD (edited April 12, 2010).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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For starters:

RESTOREE by Anne McCaffrey (her Dragon series has romance in them, by the way)

SILVER METAL LOVER by Tanith Lee

SHARDS OF HONOR by Lois McMaster Bujold

Catherine Asaro has written a lot of SF/Romance crossovers.


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bep1972
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I too am working on a science fiction (mostly cyberpunk) novel with budding young love in it. Does romantic interest between characters preclude it being science fiction? I agree that Young Adult tends to have a lot of hearts throbbing in it, and my novel is also Young Adult. I think there is definitely room for a new movement here. Thanks for turning me on to the new group, that is exactly what I'm looking for, other people trying to think about YA sci-fi in new ways. I understand the community has been closed perhaps to this kind of crossover in the past, but I think if we can get one fairly successful example of a genre-bender out there it will open up the gate to more.
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bep1972
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Oooh, I'm definitely more of a middle school romance kind of guy it turns out (or in the case of my novel painfully awkward socially stunted 20-year-old romance) :-) Maybe I rushed to join the SFR revolution too soon, I'm not prepared for erotica!
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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It seems to me that a story qualifies as plain Romance if the resolution of the relationship is the main plot line and resolution of the story.

If the romance is part of the characterization and only a subplot of the story, then the main story can be any kind of story you want to write.

Not all "plain Romance" is erotica. There is quite a spectrum, in fact, but you need to know where a particular publishing line of books is located on that spectrum. If you don't want "erotica" or similar, you look for what they call "sweet" romance (as opposed to "spicy"). There are other designations, though, and it can get tricky.

I suspect the best way to tell may be from reviews.


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bep1972
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Nice, I like the definition Kathleen. What if the story has multiple points of almost parallel resolution, is that too much?
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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bep1972, have you ever heard of LORD OF THE RINGS?
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Or does LORD OF THE RINGS only count as book with multiple resolutions that aren't necessarily parallel?
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bep1972
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Yeah that is the big daddy I suppose. I know I can't aspire to take on that much at once myself though
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LAJD
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Thanks Kathleen
I guess I should check in on a thread I have started!

Yes, for a story to be classified as a Romance according to the RWA website:

quote:
Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.


They can range in heat from none to erotica. Bep, sounds like you landed on a hot one! Also the covers tend to oversell the heat of the contents. I have NO idea why! Maybe the same reason that they use slinky models in shampoo ads?

The HEA (happily ever after) ending has been recently modified in much romance to be Happy For Now. LOL. And expanded to include the time frame of series. This definition is even wider if you write with a Romantic element, which just means that a romance is one of the major plot elements.

Here is more information if anyone is interested about the subgenres in romance:
http://www.rwanational.org/cs/romance_literature_subgenres


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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bep1972, my point is that as long as you can keep the readers caring about the characters, you can certainly have "multiple points of almost parallel resolution."

There's a YA novel by A. E. Cannon called THE LOSER'S GUIDE TO LIFE AND LOVE, and it has two romances in it with several other things going on at the same time (and, being a YA, it's also short). Take a look at it and see what you think.

Thanks LAJD. It helps to have the official word.


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