Monday, August 16, 2010

Science Fiction Romance

If you're like me, you'd never heard of science fiction romance. I came across the category last year when I read the submission guidelines for the 2010 Eppie as preparation for submitting Lady of the Stars, my Regency time travel.

The Eppie guidelines don't have a specific time travel category. So, I sent an email to the Eppie coordinators, and they very promptly replied.

I thought time travels were paranormals. According to the Eppie, the time travel mechanism determines the genre. A SF has a mechanical mode, while a fantasy or paranormal uses magical means.

As a further wrinkle, for a magical mode, the setting of the book determines whether its category is paranormal or fantasy. A paranormal exists in the real world, while a fantasy exists in an imaginary world.

Lady of the Stars uses a wormhole as the transport mode, and a wormhole has some basis in modern physics. My story is also set in the real world, so Lady of the Stars is science fiction romance. I never would have known.

And how did my entry fare? Last year, Lady of the Stars was a finalist in the Science Fiction Romance category in the 2010 EPIC Ebook Competition.

Blurb and excerpt here.
Buy link here.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche
Enter My World of Historical Hilarity


StephB said...

Good luck in the Eppies! I hope your story does well.

Savanna Kougar said...

Wow, Linda, I didn't know those definitions, either.
I guess I've been falsely promo-ing, at times, and didn't even know it... lol...
CONGRATS on being a finalist!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, all, but I just reread my post, and I guess it's a little confusing. LADY finalled in LAST year's competition. They called it the 2010 competition.

I've submitted PUMPKINNAPPER in this year's competition, which just started. Let's see how I do with this story.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Linda! Thanks for this posting - I never realised your LADY OF THE STARS was SF romance, either, but when you explain it, it makes perfect sense.

Super start to our SF romance week here at the HEA blog!

Good luck at the EPPIES with PUMPKINNAPPER!

Pauline B Jones said...

Hi, Linda, LOL on your surprise category placement. I do think, what a contest calls something and what readers call it, can vary very widely. I also have a TT --to WWII--which uses an actual time machine for the time travel. So while it would sort of fall into SFR territory, I don't promote it to SFR readers as SFR, because the bulk of the story is set in WWII and reader expectations are of SF elements, like aliens or future worlds, etc. lol

Plus my book doesn't dwell on the science of time travel that much. It's an odd line to walk, no question. (Btw. my TT OUT OF TIME was entered in mainstream, because the elements were so diverse. It also finaled and won the year I entered it. Not sure what that means. LOLOL)

Celia Yeary said...

LINDA--I never can keep all those straight. But I saw a publisher describe science fiction romance as similar to Star Trek. That's easy to remember. I remember your Lady of the Stars finaled in last year's EPPIES. Very good! Celia

Linda Banche said...

Hi Lindsay, I was surprised, too, but I asked and was told my story was SFR.

Hi Pauline. I understand what you're saying about readers understanding something different. But even as I wrote LADY OF THE STARS, I didn't think it quite fitted into what I knew of paranormals. LADY OF THE STARS has a large astronomy theme--the 21st century heroine is an astronomer, the hero is a mathematician whose hobby is astronomy, and they observe and discuss the stars a lot. More science than some other time travels.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, I thought LADY OF THE STARS finalled last year, but I can't always rely on my memory.

I hope PUMPKINNAPPER does well, too!

An EPPIES is wonderful, whether you final or win.

Pauline B Jones said...

that's interesting and yes, that would edge it over into SFR territory.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Celia and Savanna.

Hi Pauline. Yes, I thought so, too.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Congrats on being a finalist. I love to read, and write, SFR. My latest release, Silver Serenade, is science fiction romance. However, the book I'm working on takes place in modern times on Earth with magical elements. I'd call that paranormal/fantasy, yes?

P.L. Parker said...

First off, let me say all romance is Science Fiction - LOL. Not really. Personally, I love SciFi romance. Good luck in the Eppies.

Susan Macatee said...

Congratulations, Linda! Like you, I'm often confused about genre separation too, particularly in contest entries. But my time travel is definitely a paranormal. I do love SFR, though, and am working on a new manuscript that should fit the science fiction romance category, if I ever get it finished. LOL.

Linda Banche said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

Nancy, I'd agree your latest sounds like a paranormal.

Ah, P.L. you may be right!

Hi Susan, there are so many genres out there now, and so many mixtures, it's hard to tell what any one book is anymore.

As a general comment, I think I never heard of SFR because "science" still has the aura of belonging to men. I knew I wasn't the only female geek out there. Apparently, there are a lot of us!

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Linda, I don't think I ever knew 'Lady' had been a finalist - belated congratulations! Good luck this year too. :-)

Jane x

Linda Banche said...

Thank you, Jane. I appreciate it.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Linda

Good luck with this year's Eppie and belated congrats on Finaling last year.

What a fascinating article. I've always loved SF and before I was published thought that was what I wrote - until I realised everything I wrote ended up as a romance, and was thrilled to find there was actually a market out there for SFR! (I guess my stories are a bit like Startrek in some respects, I rather like that definition, although perhaps it is a little simplistic.)

I've entered Children Of The Mist this year in the SFR category. First time I've entered and I don't hold out any great hopes, but I just missed the publication time limite with Starquest and thought I'd try out with the sequel!