December 23rd, 2006

Vanitas desk

Romance Science Fiction*, part 2

My initial methodology when I set out to survey the subgenre of Science Fiction Romance was an arbitrary one. I did later ask for additional suggestions from fjm (more on that in the next post), and a handful of people at Novacon. Also, I would very happily take recommendations from any of you reading this on the subject.

Sunrise Alley, Catherine Asaro. I had no idea pulp novels were still being written. Two very pretty, strong, healthy, talented people run away from danger and away from danger and away from danger. He is a mutating cyborg, she is a genius scientist. Together they save the world. The evil villain has a secret lair in the Himalayas. Characterizations were shallow and I didn't feel there was all that much chemistry between the two main characters, but it was still entertaining and action-filled. The resolution of the romance would have been more satisfying if I'd bonded more with the characters in the first place. Still - pulp novels! Still being written! (The author was also recommended by the people at Novacon.)

Your Planet or Mine?, Susan Grant. The main characters fall madly in love at the very beginning, and then must wait a few chapters to grow up and meet each other again. Then they can set off on zany hijinks to save the world! Energetic people with some serious science fictional problems, but only superficial romantic ones. Mostly, they live in a shiny happy sphere of delight. The plot's pretty cliché too, but it was still mostly fun.

The Silver Spoon, Stacey Klemstein. The science fiction story has a fair amount of potential and may go more places in the sequel(s). In this book, however, the main characters only seem to fall for each other since they'd been forced to dream about each other all their lives. Equally, I wasn't convinced that the bad guy necessary was. The melancholy ending seemed irresolute. Story flow seemed occasionally awkward. My feeling was that the author was inexperienced, and might do better things in later books.

* Or perhaps that should be Science Fiction Romance. It was the subgenre of the two meeting halfway I inteded to explore when I set out on this project. For more on subgenre distinctions, see here and here. (Thanks to input from here!)