‘Everyday Fangirl Asks’ is a new segment to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl that asks a question posed by the Everyday Fangirl to a group of fans or creators on various fan related topics.
Today, the Everyday Fangirl asks members of the SFR Brigade the following fan related question:
So what was the first Science Fiction (SciFi) Romance that either started you down this path or has the most influence on you?
First, The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl would like to thank all of the members of the SFR Brigade who took time out of their busy schedules to share their influences and memories for this article!
The responses given by these members reflect a diverse set of influences on their science fiction romance genre journey…
I had been reading sci-fi all my life, and while the science and adventure parts were excellent, they all lacked a major part of life for any species (sexual interest/romance). Thus, I wrote my own. It’s not funny so I’ve yet to publish it, but I expect to soon. I can’t remember the book that made me try and write a better sci-fi, but the protagonist went on and on about food, (I think he must have been on a diet, because his prior books had never been so food oriented), but the only woman in his book was nothing but a one-dimensional prop. It resulted in me no longer reading him and why I can’t remember his name or the book. He had failed me.
The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffery. I just re-read the Crystal Singer trilogy recently, and was even sadder at the end to think there’ll never ever be another Killashandra story.
The funny part for me, I wrote The Key not realizing it was SFR, because I didn’t write science. I barely passed science. Of course, looking back, I realize my science was mostly fiction back then, too. haha When someone compared it to a Linnea Sinclair, then I read her books and fell in love with the genre.
One night when I was a kid, I had a dream that was so vivid that it stuck with me through the years. Planning to write it down some day, I would add to it in my head, until the day came when I did write it all down. That was five books ago. Now story has expanded into other worlds and species.
I would have to say everything by Anne McCaffrey. Her Dragonriders of Pern was the first SF/F I ever read. It was what made me long to be a writer. (It was the summer before my 6th grade year.) I quickly read her entire backlog of books, including her Crystal Singer books, The Ship Who Sang, et al. Sure, SFR these days contains a little more R, but those books that set me on this path. I tried writing everything but SF for a long time, under the assumption that science would be too hard. LOL. But here I am, some three decades later.
I think the first SFR book I ever read was McCaffrey’s “Restoree“. But that’s not what led me to write SFR. Rather, I read hard SF (still do) and found that emotional bit missing. So I wrote a book I wanted to read.
The Star King by Susan Grant . That book spoke to me at a time when I was doubting my own ability as a writer. It inspired me to finish my debut book, Prophecy, which is set for release in January 2016. I keep my copy of The Star King on my book shelf (and reread it from time to time). One day my path will cross with Susan and I’ll ask her to autograph it.
Some of the old scifi I swiped from my older brother’s room had a touch of romance in it, which greatly increased my enjoyment of a book. Murray Lienster, Heinlein. I didn’t read an actual genre romance until I was 16, but then spent years reading both those and scifi and fantasy writers. Did I mention I was quite a bookworm?
In the 80s and 90s I scoured shelves for futuristics and pararomance, which were hard to find. Anne Stuart’s Cinderman was a Harlequin, but I knew it was scifi! Loved that book–and it held up well, reread not too long ago. Dara Joy–I had to order her books from a bookstore because they didn’t carry them. When we got a computer it opened up the world of erom publishers, who were publishing scifirom and pararom.
I also loved Zenna Henderson, who wrote clever, gentle scifi often involving family and some young loves.
Wow, I can’t remember the first, but I think the one that made me think, “wow, this is FUN and I want to write it” was Ruby Lionsdrake’s Mercenary Instinct 🙂
I started on this journey with an idea of my own, after being challenged to write a 200-word flash fiction piece for a contest, and it happened to come out SF. Never thought I’d write SFR. Never wanted to. At the time, the only SF I’d read, other than a few of the classics, was Lois McMaster Bujold, so I guess I’d have to blame her.
I wouldn’t say it was sci-fi romance (I’m not even sure the term existed back in late 80’s, early 90’s) but I read Chris Claremont’s First Flight very early in my teens. (I’ve no idea where I got it from. From a second hand bookstore probably because we didn’t have much money and no car) It might even have been the first sci-fi book I’d read, because scifi books are not for girls, right? 😉
And I remember being completely engrossed in the story of Lt Shea. Wait, what was this – a scifi book with a kick-ass female lead? With action, intrigue, and gasp – romance? It’s a first contact story, and Lt. Shea was my effing hero. I haven’t read it since, and kinda don’t want to – because I’ll look at it differently now, and I don’t want to spoil the magic. My first ever scifi read that taught me women can kick ass in space just as much as the guys (and have emotions too!).
My parents gave me science fiction one summer as a way to keep me from bugging them for stuff to read. The joke was on them, however, as it caused me to start bugging them for more *science fiction* to read. The first SFR I read was probably Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, but I think Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series was more influential. A few years back, an interview I read with Linnea Sinclair told me that “science fiction romance” was a thing. When planning my current series, I knew SFR would be the best way to tell it, so as has been said so many times before, I stand on the shoulders of giants.
I mistakenly read a very adult SciFi when I was about 12 with an android having a… ummm… too close of a relationship with his chicken. That was very memorable. But the first SciFi erotic romance that I read was Laurann Dohner’s Ral’s Woman. I loved it!
Catherine Asaro, Ray Bradbury and John Wyndham
Finders keepers by Linnea Sinclair. I was researching her agent and figured I should read some of the agents clients. This was back in 1997 or 1998. I’d read Star Wars and some other sci fi before then, but I became hooked on sci fi romance after that book.
Lois McMaster Bujold for the win! She’s also great about sprinkling in LGBTQ characters.
The first Dragonriders of Pern book–it was a sci-fi that had a (gasp!) *heroine* in it, and a romantic subplot, too.
The White Dragon by Anne Mccaffrey was the first Pern novel I read, and at the time, I didn’t really understand that I was reading romance or that the dragon was asexual…or that there was even such a thing. Anyhow, I’d read sci fi before but that one really grabbed me.
Lee Koven SFR Brigade blogger
I’d read some SFR before, but the most influential SFR in my writing is probably Marcella Burnard’s Enemy Within. What drove me to write were straight SF books that I felt needed a romance in them. The second SFR that inspired me was Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair.
Andre Norton was my first major influence – the *hints* of romance were there and I wanted more. It finally occurred to me if I wanted more, I’d best get writing it.
And you know, it was Linnea Sinclair GAMES OF COMMAND that convinced me to take a chance on writing Enemy Within. :D. Oh heck, if we’re breaking out the cheesy animated SFR, then Starblazers. 😀
I read many of the SF classics as a teen, but McCaffrey’s Dragonriders is what originally hooked me on SFR.
Anne McCaffrey’s would have to be the first – but it was Catherine Asaro and Lois McMaster Bujold who really got me hooked.
Andre Norton, as others have said. She could only have hints of romance and that made me determined to write science fiction WITH romance. I LOVED RESTOREE. I still reread it occasionally. I wish she’d written more in that world.
Wrinkle in Time was my first SF, but really didn’t spur any urge to write. It wasn’t until I read Jayne Castle’s SWEET STARFIRE that I got hooked on SFR. That was the first book I’d ever read that took place on another planet, and that had romance. A light went off in my pointy little head.
I just wanted to add one more vote for Anne McCaffrey’s Restoree for the win. 🙂 I read Dragon Singer first and considered it fantasy. This was in 6th grade. Restoree is still my fave SFR. I like them a little hotter tho so I’m glad the publishing world has expanded!
My SFR journey began in 2002 when I discovered the secret rack at the back of our public library. I chose three or four novels to read (I was reading 4 or 5 a day) and I fell in love with Patti O’Shea’s Ravyn’s Flight. It was action, adventure, romance and aliens with tech and science and it rekindled my love of science and learning about the cosmos.
I don’t remember the first. I enjoy Andre Norton and she has some with couples, some of Piers Antony’s books, Joe Haldeman.
The first one I knew was SFR that I read was Finder’s Keepers by Linnea Sinclair. Later I realized I’d read some as a child thanks to Marion Zimmer Bradley, the Pern stories, and Zenna’s books.
I didn’t have a book per se but I’ve been reading this stuff all my life starting with Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey. But, I did have a kinda funny goal when I started. You know the Also bought list? :} There were certain authors I wanted on mine. And they are there. They are also in the group. LOL
So I don’t want to come off as all fangirl (note on this blog you can!) But they were writing what I wanted to write, and I thought if people who get mine love theirs, then I will be creating what I want. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it included Veronica Scott and Anna Hackett. I wanted to make those kinds of characters. I’m not entirely there yet.
SF romance? Probably The Puppet Masters, by Robert Heinlein. I didn’t know when I read it, but it’s classic SF romantic suspense.
Maybe I should also say that my mom recommended Restoree by Ann McCaffery to me. I liked it a lot, but by that time I was already a confirmed SF reader. My mom used to reread Restoree every year. Another book that influenced me a lot was Darker than You Think, by Jack Williamson. In a weird way, it’s SF romance, but not in the usual sense. But it really got me into werewolves. It’s about a guy who doesn’t know he’s a werewolf, and his coven–particularly one woman/wolf–is pushing him into his true destiny. It’s humanity vs werewolves, and Williamson made me want to be on the winning side–werewolves.
Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz back when she first started it… early 1990s along with JD Robb/Nora Roberts. So happy that JC/JAK is writing them again now… so many years later 😉 and glad that JDR/NR never stopped writing the Eve Dallas series
I have read science fiction all my life. Like many people, I started out in fan fic, and the first science romantic entanglement that pulled me in was Star Trek Voyager’s Tom Paris and B’Lanna Torres relationship – I was hooked. I quickly ran to the library, but they didn’t have anything listed as SFR. So I turned to my science fiction – and found Robert Heinlein’s Friday, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Outlander pulled me from strict science fiction into the world of SFR and I’ve loved it ever since.
Lastly, Patty Hammond the Everyday Fangirl from Michigan would like to answer this question and share what influenced her to seek out SFR.
I actually started not through books, but through Robotech, an animated TV series in the mid 1980’s which included a several romance stories with the backdrop of a multigenerational space war. The first romance book set in space that I read was Amaryllis by Jayne Castle, aka Jayne Ann Krentz. It was through both of these that I found a whole new genre to explore and learn more about.
Welcome Melisse and thank you for joining us today to answer the following:
What does the title, Her Cyborg Awakes, signify?
Her: Sabralia is a wife to Emperor Sirn, a warlord. He has a few other legal wives but they have children and live in another area of his palace. Sabralia was sent to the common harem, which if full of dancers and sex workers, but due to her status she has her own rooms, unsupervised visits to the beach, and her own cyborg servant, the handsome Qy.
Cyborg: The Gorvas Army, in which Sirn is a military commander, has experimented a great deal with cyborgs to use as obedient,emotionless pawns in their goal of conquering the Terran Alliance planets. They make the cyborgs out of the fallen dead and dying.
Awakes: While they hide on the beach to avoid Sirn’s Feast, in which he turns his Harem over to his officers, Qy misses his nightly maintenance and begins to change.
What prompted or inspired you to write in this genre?
I have read and enjoyed science fiction since I was a child. Even then I appreciate touches of romance. Later I discovered romances. Seemed like a perfect blend to me.
What kind of research did you have to do for the novel that was different from others?
I did some research on wormholes and speculations on faster than light space flight, but this is a space opera, the technology isn’t where the story is at, but the characters.
What makes you laugh?
I adore a certain character type, usually a secondary character, who innocently bungles the life of the main characters, but eventually attains their goal. Dobby from the Harry Potter series, Eloisa James’ character Rupert in THE DUKE IS MINE, is one of the most memorable characters. I really am trying to write one!
What makes you cry?
The injury or death of a beloved character. Dobby (again) and Fred and in the Harry Potter series.
How would you describe yourself?
Take a shy, chubby, Catholic school girl bookworm from Montana. Hand her a stack of her much older brother’s sci fi and fantasy novels, James Bond books and horror comics. Later, introduce Barbara Cartland and the world of romance fiction.
Get her a teaching job or two in authentic, one room Montana schools, ala Laura Ingels Wilder.
Marry her off to a great guy, move her to a big city in Tornado Alley, then pop three daughters out of her in twenty two months(one set of identical twins).
Then, make her a jinx–every great genre TV show she loves gets the ax– Beauty and the Beast, Dark Angel–and Buffy and Spike NEVER have a happy ending! She gets upset about no romance in the world, and fires up to write her own stories with happy endings.
Throw this all together into a small house in Wyoming, along with a small bouncy dog named Baxter and too many cats, shake constantly and pour it out onto a computer keyboard.
There! You have me, Melisse Aires.
Thank you again Melisse for taking the time to answer these questions!