What defines a story as a science fiction romance?

Two of my favorite genres are Science Fiction and Romance. When I discovered the sub genre of Science Fiction Romance, SFR for short, I could not have been happier.

What defines a story as a science fiction romance?

An article from May 2011 in The Examiner by Carma Spense defines this sub genre three different ways.

  • Science fiction romance is a pretty even split between the two genres. The romantic journey is set in a scientifically or technologically advanced environment. The science fiction elements and the romance elements of the story are equally important and the story would suffer if one was taken away.
  • Romantic science fiction is predominantly a science fiction story, but it has a romantic sub-plot. This is very common in film and television, often because it is believed that the romantic sub-plot will give the movie or show a broader appeal. You can take away the romantic sub-plot and the story would be just fine.
  • Futuristic romance is the opposite of romantic science fiction. This time you have a romance story with science fiction trappings and elements. You can take away the science fiction and the story would be just fine.
  • Since, there are three different types of ‘science fiction’ with ‘romance’, then this means there are three times as many that can be explored and enjoyed.
    Over the next couple of months, I plan to explore more of this sub genre through a series of blog posts, which will include:

  • Reviews, opinions and/or recommendations on SFR stories that I have read
  • Interviews with those who create SFR stories, both from female and male authors, editors, etc.
  • Further exploration into each science fiction with romance story type
  • How was first introduced to SFR and how I eventually got involved with the SFR Brigade as an active member.
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    About Patty Hammond

    I am a self proclaimed fangirl who is disguised as a mild mannered data analyst for an advertising firm. You can find me on Twitter as @pattybones2

    3 responses to “What defines a story as a science fiction romance?”

    1. S E Gilchrist (@SEGilchrist1) says :

      Great post Patty. Even though I write in this genre, I’ve always had a bit of a hazy idea re the differences.

    2. Faberge Nostromo says :

      Very interesting – I was already pondering what makes a romance with my current book, wondering how much of it was SF against how much, if any, was a true romance. I think I have to finish the first draft and then take stock.

    3. PK Hrezo (@PKHrezo) says :

      Great explanation! I was like you and so thrilled to find my story has a genre! SFR FTW!! Looking forward to more posts!

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