Perils of Pauline – Discovering Your Inner Geek

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A long, long time ago, in a galaxy…okay, it was Wyoming…but it was a very long time ago. In this somewhat distant past, before the Women’s Movement and bra burning, girls weren’t always encouraged to do well at math and science in my small town. When I go through my mementoes of the past, it is something of a shock to realize I did well in both math and science until I entered high school. Then those grades fell off rather sharply.
I’m not sure if I really sucked at them, or if society decreed that I couldnt do it because I was a girl. I expect its a little of both. I loved to read, so English and history came easier for me. My tastes in fiction have always been diverse, but always leaned toward romance. My taste in movies and TV has always included action and adventure, so science fiction crept in, even when I thought I didn’t do science.
Whether it was nature or nurture that shaped me into a non-geek for many years, I do know I had no plans to wander into science fiction writing. So, when I penned a science fiction romance called The Key, I didn’t consider it science fiction. I honestly thought it was an action adventure romance. (Okay, so maybe my lack of science creds wasn’t totally nurture.)
Then a reviewer wrote this about The Key: “Love Linnea Sinclair? Get a kick out of Susan Grant? Then you’ll want to glom up on releases by Pauline Baird Jones. The Key isn’t so much a sci-fi release as it is a dang good read, and this reviewer is anxious to read more of Baird Jones. Fun and fantastic at the same time, The Key is an intergalactic space adventure that will thrill readers to the very tips of their toes. Heartstrings Reviews
And then it won a Dream Realm award for science fiction. Was the universe out of alignment? Had the non-geek really written a science fiction novel?
After I got done doing a couple of double takes (and quit waiting for someone to out me as a fake geek), I went looking for other science fiction romances and discovered something amazing. I was geek enough to enjoy them. (We are talking about mostly made up science here.)
Since wandering among the science fiction shelves I have discovered that I can enjoy hard science fiction (Alexis Glynn Latner’s Hurricane Moon, which also has a romance, btw) and even military science fiction (Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, which also has some romance in it and awesome action). What I’ve also discovered is some rocking fun action and high adventure liberally mixed with lots of wonderful romance. If you’re interested in exploring this diverse and smoking cool genre check out this list of 100 suggested SFR and romantic SF titles at The Galaxy Express blog. You might be surprised to find that you have a hidden, inner geek, too, one willing and able to enjoy a little made-up science in their fiction.
Pauline Baird Jones is the award-winning author of eleven novels of science fiction romance, steampunk, action-adventure, suspense, romantic suspense and comedy-mystery. Her latest release is a steampunk/science fiction romance called Steamrolled. You can find out more than you ever wanted to know about her at


  1. I agree that society, thus schools, do have a notion that boys are better at math and science and girls are better at english. I know when I was in school, I believed it and by 10th grade, I was barely passing alegebra and trig while I was excelling in every other class.
    I only hope that this has changed for girls growing up now!

    marajbrandon AT earthlink DOT net

  2. Schools and teachers are definitely geared toward boys in math and science. Luckily, my daughter is fantastic in math although she dislikes it (scores top 96% of kids her age and has gotten her into gifted studies classes and camps) but she also loves, Loves, LOVES to read and write! I HATED math and science; struggled in both. Like my daughter, though, I love to read and I write, some, but for myself.

    books4me67 at

  3. Times are slowly changing, thank heavens. When I was in school, I have to admit that boys were ones that teachers pinned their hopes on. Raise your hand with the answer and never be called on.

  4. email..nblack at twcny dot rr dot com

  5. I agree they do lean toward math with boys. My daughter, too, is more of a natural with math than my son.

    Hi, Pauline! Love that SFR!

  6. Glad it wasn’t just me!!! And glad it is changing! Thanks for stopping by! Rock on SFR!!! (grin)

  7. Well, your versions of the genre look fun!

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  8. Just because society has deemed scifi a “guy’s” genre doesn’t mean female writers have to adhere to it. I completely understand how some women felt they had to use a male or gender neutral pen name.

    User1123 AT comcast DOT net

  9. I definitely embrace women writing science-fiction. I’m looking forward to reading more books in this genre. It’s the story that counts and it doesn’t matter which genre writes it. I’m not sure what society’s view was but I do know I like science and math in school.

  10. hey, thanks for the support! Rock on, geek girls! And thanks all of you for taking time to read the blog and share your thoughts. 😀

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