Guest blogger: Sharon Lynn Fisher on Science Fiction Romance (with giveaway)

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.

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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.

her-movie-posterAnd 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.

TFTSFRB_Revise_Title-1The 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.

Sharon Lynn Fisher

Sharon Lynn Fisher Author PhotoAbout SHARON LYNN FISHER:

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.

OpheliaProphecy_take 2About THE OPHELIA PROPHECY:

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.

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About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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26 Responses to Guest blogger: Sharon Lynn Fisher on Science Fiction Romance (with giveaway)

  1. Mary Hughes says:

    Warm welcome, Sharon, and congratulations on your release of The Ophelia Prophecy! Thank you for the thought-provoking post. I love both science fiction and romance, and miss elements of one when I read the other. My favorite stories are those that bridge the genres. But now you’ve made me realize character-driven stories is exactly what I love most about each genre! I’m glad the SFR community is blasting through the barriers :) I look forward to reading The Ophelia Prophecy!

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks so much for the welcome and the congrats, Mary! I do think it’s exciting times for SFR. Lots of new voices in the genre, the rise of indie publishing, and supportive publishers like Tor, Carina, Samhain, and Kensington. And I think Hollywood’s involvement doesn’t hurt! Yes, that character-driven aspect is key I think. I know in my own case it’s so important that I can often still really enjoy the story even if it breaks some romance rules.

      I hope you enjoy the book!

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Sharon, your post has me so excited. I used to read SFR, a long time ago, and I had to hunt for those books. Finally, they pretty much disappeared and, as a reader, I gave up and moved on to other genres.

    I’m definitely going to check out your books. I still love the mix of science and romance. Thanks for much for being Michelle’s guest!

    • Sharon says:

      Oh yay, I got someone excited! :grin: Yes, even these days it can be hard to find those books. Often publishers, and even bookstores, don’t know what to do with them. I think SFR pioneer Linnea Sinclair is in the romance category. I’m mostly in the SF category, but I’ve noticed some individual bookstores have started it in SF and shifted it to romance. Imagine how confused readers are! But tagging is helping with that in the world of e-books. And book blogging! I think posts like these really help to get the word out. (Thank you, MM!)
      Sharon`s last blog was …The Ophelia Prophecy: Online book tour!

  3. SFR having recognition outside the Brigade? That’s so awesome to hear!

    I don’t like first person, so I’m not likely to ever read Ghost, but The Ophelia Prophecy does catch my fancy and it’s third person.
    Rachel Leigh Smith`s last blog was …U is for Unleash The Night

    • Sharon says:

      Yes, my friend’s comment really took me by surprise! It seems the Brigade has made quite a loud noise. :)

      It’s funny, when I first wrote GHOST PLANET I had no idea that first-person POV was a turnoff for some people. I suppose I feel the same way about stories that intentionally head-hop. I’m not fast enough to keep up! Anyhow, thanks for dropping by, Rachel, and if you read OPHELIA I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Jessa Slade says:

    SFR sooooo deserves its day in the sun! Or suns, I suppose :) Someday…
    Jessa Slade`s last blog was …Romance ruined me!

  5. Fun post, and thanks for the shout out!

    I’ve always thought it’d be great to have a sister online community covering fantasy romance. Maybe someday!

  6. Kristine R says:

    Science fiction romance are a really rare find in todays bookstores. But when I do find one I love them

  7. I think I looked at the first few pages of this on Amazon and it looked intriguing. I saw it mentioned on Heather Massey’s site.

    I started writing SFR because a lot of what I liked to read seemed to be prevalent in romance novels.

  8. Sharon, thank you so much for being a guest on MM! I read and enjoyed Ghost Planet, and I’m looking forward to reading The Ophelia Prophecy!

  9. Liz S says:

    I enjoyed your post very much. So happy to seen the recent surge in recognition of SFR. Looking forward to checking out your new book.

  10. Carol says:

    I like science fiction with strong characters and a fair amount of action. I am more interested in female heroine than male (I am much more demanding of male dominant books in character development) and like a romance element although it doesn’t have to be the dominating thread in the plot.

  11. Tina says:

    Loved Ghost Planet!

  12. Trey says:

    Color me curious! I’ve always enjoyed Bujold when she took of into romance territory – especially the romantic comedy elements. And while it looks like the Ophelia Prophecy isn’t a comedy, I’ll check out the sample on Amazon and see if I can win a copy.

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