We’re thrilled to have Sharon Lynn Fisher as a guest on MM for the first time. Sharon’s latest science fiction romance novel has just released, and one of our MM reviewers has put up a review about the book, if you want to check it out here. Sharon’s publisher, Tor, is kindly giving away THREE copies of The Ophelia Prophecy to MM readers, so enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win.
The Rise of Science Fiction Romance
Typing that heading made my geeky little heart all warm and fluttery.
It’s a challenging genre, sci-fi romance (SFR, henceforth).
Romance readers can be skittish about SFR. Won’t it be cold and technical? Let’s set the record straight on that right now: SF and SFR are different creatures. The best SFR (and frankly, often the best SF) has a strong focus on character and relationship development, and science and tech elements of the story serve as support for that component. Also, lots of romance readers love suspense and paranormal elements, which are both very common in SFR.
And sci-fi readers? Plenty of them, male or female, are just as skittish about romantic plots. But the strong focus on character development can really enrich a speculative story, and exploring the effects of speculative elements on relationships is some of the most compelling storytelling out there. The movie HER, though not strictly a romance due to the lack of happily ever after, was nominated for an Academy Award for exactly that type of exploration.
An aspect of my debut novel GHOST PLANET that both sci-fi and romance readers seemed to connect with is another example of this: the heroine finds out she’s died and been reincarnated as an alien, and is symbiotically bound to a man for whom she’s developing romantic feelings. My newest release, THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, explores the complications of a relationship between a human heroine and a hero who’s a member of a race of human/praying mantis transgenic organisms.
The challenges of SFR is a discussion that’s been going on a long time among its authors. I was lucky enough to connect early on with two of the genre’s loudest cheerleaders, SFR authors and bloggers Laurie Green and Heather Massey. Heather runs a blog called The Galaxy Express for news and discussion of SFR, and Laurie founded the writer group SFR Brigade. SFR Brigade has more than 400 members, plus nearly 800 followers of the FaceBook fan page. Laurie also coordinated development of an SFR anthology (free on Amazon).
These SFR-specific groups and outlets exist for the purpose of getting the word out. For the purpose of tempting new readers into the genre. I used to think SFR authors had it the toughest when it came to broadening their audience, but recently I was chatting with a talented fantasy romance author friend. She’s facing exactly the same challenges. She remarked that SFR had made greater gains than FR because SFR has such an organized community. Whaaa? I thought. People outside our organized community know about our organized community?
That’s because our efforts are paying off.
So yeah, keep an eye on SFR.
A Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest. She writes books for the geeky at heart—sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance—and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2014). You can visit her online at SharonLynnFisher.com.
Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters — the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax — strangers and enemies — find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource — information — viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.
Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other’s secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.