Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WHAT IS SPACE OPERA NOIR? AND HOW CAN I GET SOME?



What would you get if you combined the literary DNA of STAR TREK, FIREFLY and BLADE RUNNER? Space opera noir, that’s what! And the third book in my Interstellar Rescue series, Fools Rush In, which launches today.

If you write SFR you probably cut your teeth on some form of space opera—TREK, STAR WARS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, or any of the science fiction written by the rocket-happy guys of the Golden Age of SF. The term, of course, comes from the old days of radio, when laundry detergent sold radio plays aimed at housewives: “soap operas.” Similarly melodramatic Westerns earned the term “horse operas.” And naturally when square-jawed heroes and buxom heroines took to space in serials like BUCK ROGERS, they fought nasty aliens in “space operas.”

You might have to be a movie fan to know the term “film noir,” though. Technically it’s applies to mystery/thrillers made in the late Forties and Fifties using low lighting (thus “noir” or black), shadowy settings and dramatic use of black-and-white cinematography as a symbol of the dark underbelly of the lives the films portrayed. One of the best examples of this film style is THE MALTESE FALCON, starring Humphrey Bogart as private eye Sam Spade. The action is fast, the dialogue is snappy, and it always seems to be either night-time or raining in usually sunny L.A.

Filmmaker Ridley Scott used this style when he made his classic film adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” as BLADE RUNNER. It’s always raining here, too, drenching the teeming alleys of the dark, violent city, and weird surprises lurk in the shadows. (Scott used darkness and shadows to the same, startling effect in ALIEN.) In BLADE RUNNER, though, the noir aspect conveys “lack of resources” as much as violence and sudden death. You can imagine that those alleys are cold, as well as dark.

The universe of Fools Rush In has its own kind of darkness. Life in space, especially for the book’s hero, pirate captain Sam Murphy, and the crew of his ship Shadowhawk, is a constant battle for scarce resources—energy, food, water, air, credits, spare parts. Sam lives on the edge of legality, and he’s well-versed in the arts of negotiation, smuggling, black-market trading, even outright theft. He’s very comfortable in that criminal underbelly so many noir  films depict, and yet he is a man of principle. He has his own code of ethics and standards of behavior. He follows those standards himself and he demands them of his crew, even as they move through some of the ugliest ports in galaxy.

The book’s heroine, Rayna Carver, has seen her share of darkness, too. She works undercover as an agent for the Interstellar Council for Abolition and Rescue, putting herself at risk in alien slave labor facilities to help extract slaves, organize resistance and undertake sabotage. She’s driven, dedicated and full of never-say-die enthusiasm.

But these two show more kickass space opera DNA than world-weary film noir characteristics. They meet their challenges head-on, with swashbuckling brashness and bare-knuckled determination. It’s just not in either one of them to give up or to surrender—even to each other!

So, given their penchant for action, Fools Rush In has plenty of space opera fun along with its shadowy noir murders and mysteries—space battles, fistfights, onboard explosions, even evil aliens.  Somehow, Sam and Rayna seem to handle it all with aplomb—and still find time for hot romance!

Here’s the official blurb for Fools Rush In:

She thought she had the toughest job in Rescue—
until the day she had to convert a pirate into a hero.

Interstellar Rescue “conductor” Rayna Carver is deep undercover on a slave ship bound for an isolated region of space when the ship is attacked by pirates. Her liberator is Captain Sam Murphy, a man known in the spacer bars to love only profit, adventure and women.

But Murphy hates a few things, too, chief among them slavers. Will it be enough to gain his help for Rayna’s mission—ferreting out two spies bent on sabotaging an arms factory to turn the tide in an alien civil war?

Get your copy today on Amazon!

And, BTW, if you need to catch up on either of the two other books in the series, Unchained Memory will be on sale for $0.99 on Amazon for one more day. Trouble in Mind will be on sale on Amazon for $0.99, just until tomorrow. Hurry to get yours!

Cheers, Donna


Donna S. Frelick has been a journalist, a Peace Corps Volunteer and an author of STAR TREK fan fiction. She was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 for the first two novels in her contemporary SFR Interstellar Rescue series. Book 3 in the series, Fools Rush In, launches TODAY from INK’d Press. 

Find her at http://donnasfrelick.com; blogging at http://spacefreighters.blogspot.com; on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DonnaSFrelickAuthor and on Twitter @DonnaSFrelick. 

 






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