Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hi everyone from Kaz Augustin

After some great lovin' over at The Galaxy Express [http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/2010/04/carina-press-cover-exclusive-in-enemy.html], I thought I'd gird loins, come over here and say hi to all you great SFR readers.

From reading through past posts, it looks like an equal number found SFR from the SF side as from the romance side. I'm one of the SF followers myself who gradually came to the realisation that there was a lack of characterisation in a lot of SF characters. Yes, even the men, even though they were the ostensible heroes. And I wanted to see more.

The first flawed hero I remember reading was Sam Reed, the mutilated Immortal from Henry Kuttner's novel, "Fury". Just flipping through the book randomly, I came across bewitching snippets that indicated the path I would take in the future. The 1954 novel was groundbreaking, to my mind. Consider:
Rosathe smiled at him.... There was unexpected humour in her face sometimes, a rather disconcerting initelligence behind the gentian eyes.... Sam was afraid of her.
and, on the next page:
If she came to him it wouldn't be for the money. That was another thing that made her dangerous to his peace of mind.
Ah, they're playing our song! And then there was Harry Harrison with his Stainless Steel Rat series. Was there ever a feistier, more protective, more lethal woman than Angelina di Griz? Jim di Griz is drawn to her smarts and her strength and, in subsequent books, she ends up being the one pulling their collective fat out of the fire in several cliffhanger situations. A mother who keeps a weapon tucked under the blankets of her baby's pram. Who will kill to protect her own but who still lets her children grow while she watches from the sidelines. Who wouldn't want to be her? And all this from a 1970s series.

SFR has been there, bubbling under the surface, for decades now, emerging every now and then in an entertainingly subversive way. But not enough. Never enough. Now we have the chance to take it all one step further with the advent of digital technologies, readers comfortable with technology, and humans who long for tales of emotional connectedness. If there was ever a time for us to harness the prevailing winds of change, this might just be the time. Let's go see what's out there!

* Kaz Augustin is a writer who loves re-reading her old classics, regardless of whether the dusty covers give her sneezing fits. You can find her website at http://www.ksaugustin.com and she blogs approximately three times a week at http://blog.ksaugustin.com.


  1. Hi Kaz and welcome to the Brigade.

    I came to SFR from both sides of the subgenre, having been a huge SF fan as a YA and an avid romance reader in my early 20s. I think by the time I was 25, I was longing for a read that combined both effectively.

    I agree SFR has high standards to meet. Believable technology. Compelling characters. A story that effectively uses both in defining a memorable romance. Many traditional NY publishers seem reluctant to give it a chance, especially in this risky economy, but I think it's really starting to gain a foothold with the electronic publishers. These are exciting times for Sci-Fi Romance.

    Thanks for your post. :)

  2. I love the Stainless Steel Rat series. So funny. I, too, come from the SF side. For me it was Dune. I loved the relationships between Chani and Paul, and later Alia and Duncan. They aren't traditional romances because they're skimmed over.

    Thanks for posting!

  3. Kaz said: **Yes, even the men, even though they were the ostensible heroes. And I wanted to see more.

    I have just enough coffee in me to see a wonderful double entendre in that statement... ;-> ~Linnea

  4. Hi Kaz, it’s good to see you here. And Congrats on your upcoming SFR!

    I've always been a SF girl. But one who loves romance too. I agree that more relationship exploration would be very good in our genre. I think the NY pubs are opening up to SFR, but well written SFR. And we have the ebook market's attention too.

    I so agree with Linnea Sinclair in her interview where she states that so many authors she meets in her workshops say they want to or do write SFR, but actually haven't even explored or read much in the SF genre, or even know who the authors are foraging ahead with SFR.

    The books are there and those wanting to write SFR should be well read and studied before attempting to pen a story. And to me, the lines need to be clear. The way SFRB explains it in 'How do I know if I write SFR?' is the true way it should be. We are not authors of magical happenings, werewolves, or vampires we are technology! Not that there is anything wrong with the paranormal side of things, It is just not what SFR truly is, or should be. Though aspects of other genre--paranormal, suspense, etc. can crossover in our work. It just can't be the main theme. SF is technology. And so, SFR too.

    To write in our genre, you gotta love techy science and the way technology is presented in science fiction, as well as have a love for romance. For me, I eat it, sleep with it and generally it is so much a part of my life. It always has been.

    I'm serious when I say this-- I go to sleep with an SF or SFR book in my hands, and a movie or TV series like an episode of Stargate, Farscape or Trek playing in the background. Of course this is not to say I know what I'm doing as an author of SFR. As I've told others, even though I can call myself published now, I still say I'm aspiring because I'm constantly learning and studying the craft of how to write well.

    So with these thoughts in mind, Yes let’s see what’s out there…

    (My rambling two cents. I will do a blog on this someday soon so as not to take up another author's time to blog!)

  5. Hi Kaz,
    Nice meeting you. I'm pleased to see more brigade members from the SF end of things.

  6. It's so nice to see so many SF fans in the mix, though why that *shouldn't* be the case is beyond me! :) Kaye, I'd love to read an expansion of your comment, which springboards off Linnea's remarks about past SFR and the skills required to write good SFR. Our sub-genre stands and falls on its quality.

    And Linnea, I actually did think that when I was writing the post. Definitely more, in every sense of the word. LOL

  7. Kaz said: "Our sub-genre stands and falls on its quality."

    Ohhh. Amen to that!


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