Sunday, March 06, 2011

To Betelgeuse, With Love

Even though I've read Sherrilyn Kenyon's "The League" series it hadn't occurred to me that Science Fiction Romance was a defined cross-over sub-genre between the two genres. Diane Dooley did a nice write up today about it in her post What the Heck is Science Fiction Romance?

Assuming not all aliens look like Orion slave babes does make me think of the scene is Galaxy Quest where Guy Fleegman is saying, "Oh, that's not right!" Is there some sort of warning on the cover telling me "Beware, alien sex scenes included"? I would hope so.

Have you read any Science Fiction Romance? What do you see as the dividing line (however blurry it may be) between a science fiction book that includes a romantic element and a romance that has a science fiction setting? Many science fiction books have a romantic and/or sex element where I wouldn't classify them as romance in a million years (Stranger in a Strange Land comes to mind). One of the key differences for me is that I consider science fiction to be idea driven (what if?) and romance to be relationship driven (all the way to 'happily ever after'). So that would be the difference between a book about a spaceship (with the human relationships and interactions being used to reveal and explore the idea of space travel) and a book about two lovers on a spaceship (where the ship is used as a setting).

3/15/11 Update:
Check out Lindsay Buroker's interview with Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express about her new book and this genre. Then check out The Galaxy Express!

*Yes, I realize with the blog post title I just did a Science Fiction Romance/Spy Thriller crossover idea. But I totally call that title - now I just need to write the book.


  1. Interesting question. I think it's difficult, in general, to classify books into defininte 'genres'. Well, mostly. But I thing you're right that the important difference is that a romance is almost entirely relationship-driven. The 'love' is the main point of the story, the other action just providing necessary conflict.

  2. Hi Tessa! I think of genres as a necessary evil of the marketing side of publishing - a "quick" way to communicate to buyers what kind of story they are in for. But yes, if you read any particular thing from a particular genre they overlap with other things from other genres - thus making any specific book difficult to classify (especially a really good one).

    Thanks for coming by!

  3. Most of the SFR I've read is a love story in space, though I know there's some steampunk romance out there too that gets tagged as SFR. Depending on who I'm talking to, I'll call my own novel (Encrypted) a SFR, though it's kind of a fantasy/science fiction blend, and it's a love story but doesn't have the on-page sex I associate with the romance genre.