by Heather Lin
The System is the first novel I’ve ever written in the science fiction romance genre, and I struggled with the decision to call it a science fiction romance. Before publication, I called it a futuristic romance because it takes place in the future, and I didn’t want to turn off those who might not be as interested in the science fiction elements. Also, I didn’t think there was much of a difference between the two.
But just before publication, I decided to do a little more research. Although I had my own ideas of how labeling The System a sci-fi romance could affect its marketing, I also wanted to be sure I wasn’t leading potential readers astray. What I found on my journey were two great blog posts at Love Romance Passion.
The first, by Marcella Burnard, stated that the lines between futuristic and science fiction romance are often blurred. Her general rule is that in a futuristic romance novel, the romance comes before the science fiction, and in a science fiction romance novel, the sci-fi and romantic content are equal.
The other blog I found was by Heather Massey, who runs The Galaxy Express, and she seemed to agree with Ms. Burnard: Romantic Science Fiction is science fiction with a romantic subplot, Science Fiction Romance is a 50/50 split, and Futuristic Romance is a romance with sci-fi elements. But she also emphasized that these are not strict rules and not everyone abides by them.
In the end, I was left with the knowledge that the terms can be flexible and various publishers and organizations often choose a single umbrella term to make their lives easier, but there is clearly a socially-accepted difference between the genres. So which one to choose?
When I originally wrote The System, it was 30,000 words and hands-down a futuristic romance. It was all about Brody and Capri finding love in a dangerous new world. But as I edited and added on to the original story, it grew to 60,000 words with a more complex, science-fiction driven plot. There are new technologies like spaceships and hover cars; the setting is a brand new, well-detailed solar system which is overseen by the UN; there is also way more action than I’ve ever come across in a romance novel; and, most importantly, the story contains a twist that easily gives the romantic plot a run for its money.
It’s for all these reasons that I made the decision to call The System a science fiction romance.
But what do you think? What do you expect to see from the SFR genre?
Comment below and leave your e-mail address to be entered to win a one of a kind bracelet engraved with a quote from The System! Winner to be announced on my blog September 1st!
About the Author:Heather currently resides in Delaware with her loving husband and beloved cat. She began writing romance and erotica in 2008 and hasn’t been able to keep her mind out of the gutter since. Like Heather Lin on Facebook or visit her blog at http://heatherlin88.blogspot.com/ for updates, talented guest bloggers, and the occasional piece of free fiction!
Capri is an alluring young prostitute with a painful past; Brody is a ruthless mercenary for a crew of thieves from the spaceship Gypsy Lass. When he enters her brothel, the attraction between them is instant, electric, and too much for him to handle. After a robbery gone wrong, the crew takes Capri hostage, forcing her and Brody to remain in close quarters until they see fit to drop her on another planet.
But Capri’s plight and the intense feelings between her and Brody turn out to be the least of their problems. Together—whether they like it or not—they uncover a secret no one in the whole System could have expected.