Rocketships & Romance!!

han_solo_leia_kissIt’s never been a secret that the reason I’m writing romance is because of Han Solo, and his infamous “I know”.

I’ve always read science fiction, ever since Star Wars came out when I was young.  I didn’t know about Star Trek, though, until the movie came out a few years later, as I grew up without television, and when we finally did get a TV, there was only one government station.

So books were my retreat and I read everything I could get my hands on.  Moving to a big seaside town with an even bigger library was the motherlode.  Secondhand bookshops were another boon, letting me try new-to-me authors and delving into science fiction.

So you may well ask why on earth I’m not writing science fiction?  Well, Han Solo kinda set my path.  I loved the spaceships and the big, space opera style story lines, although it was to be another twenty years before I heard the term ‘space opera’ and realized that was what I like the best in SF.

But I also liked a seriously good heart-twisting romance in my stories, and the SF of the day was woefully short on this element.

In the late eighties, romance publishers started imprints that were called “futuristic romance” — but most of these stories had as much to do with science fiction as wallpaper historicals have to do with actual history.  Not much, as it happens.

Han SoloIt’s probably no surprise that the earliest efforts to cater to a science fiction romance hybrid failed.

Most self-respecting science fiction fans like their SF to be well-written, and the world-building to be damned good and interesting.  In addition, as science fiction is the genre of ideas, there should be some pretty neat ideas mixed up with the bulkheads and rivets and the romantic clinches.

None of it was encouraging to me as a writer.

Of the two elements, though, I decided that romance was the critical one.  So I started writing romances that would appeal to publishers as they got to say what got published or not.

That meant historicals, contempories and later, erotic romance.  A couple of years after that, I moved into paranormal romances and haven’t really moved far away from that since.

Until now.

Now that I’m indie publishing, I can publish whatever the hell I want…sort of.  Of course, I could write Amish Tattoo Erotica, if that was my thing, but I probably wouldn’t sell much.

In the end, it’s the reader — that’s you — who gets to decide what I really should concentrate on.  What you like is what I write.

han solo I knowBut sometimes, as an indie author, I can experiment and put a book out there and see if you like it.  There are no big publisher editors in my way, shaking their heads and refusing to publish it because it doesn’t look like last week’s #1 best-seller warmed over.

Faring Soul is my new experiment.  Aren’t you lucky?  🙂

Science Fiction Romance (SFR) is a very new sub-genre of Romanceland.  The old eighties version of Futuristic Romance fits inside SFR, but at the far “soft” end of the scale.  True SFR is 50% well written science fiction, and 50% really good romance.  At the other far end of the scale, you get SF with romantic elements (or “romantic SF”), and there are some seriously hard-core SF authors who write these types of novels.  The Forever War is a good example, if you’re curious.  My beloved Robert A. Heinlein wrote a few himself.  (Time Enough for Love is a really good example.  I cry every time I read it.)

Faring Soul is true science fiction, with a very balanced SF v’s Romance ratio.  It’s also space opera in the finest Star Wars tradition.

It is due to be released on September 25 (which means I just barely cram it into September, thereby keeping my book a month rate in place), but is already available for pre-order (I’ve been busy).

Faring 3DHere’s the blurb, and a flash excerpt for you.

Rumors emerge that Catherine Shahrazad, possibly the oldest person in the galaxy, has returned from the fringes and has been seen in Federation space. Wherever she goes, her name and her history cause civil unrest, riots and worse. The Federation Board doesn’t want her there. Neither do the leaders of Cadfael College, the educators and moralists of the galaxy. No one pays any attention to the reticent navigator called Bedivere X, who pilots her ship better than she does.

The truth about Bedivere threatens the entire Federation.

His feelings for Cat might just save everyone.

This book is part of the Interspace Origins space opera romance series:
Book 1: Faring Soul
Book 2: Varkan Rise
Book 3: Cat and Company

_____

An Excerpt From: FARING SOUL
Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2015
All Rights Reserved.

Bedivere didn’t try to avoid her, or pretend he didn’t know she was angry. He moved back to the far side of the cargo hold where Brant wouldn’t be able to hear or see them and waited with his arms crossed and his legs spread, which made them look longer than ever. In the dim light back there, his dark blond hair looked much darker.

Catherine marched right up to him, letting her frustration show.

“He kills computers, Cat,” Bedivere said, sliding in before she could say anything.

She drew a breath, trying to shrug off her irritation. Bedivere didn’t think like she did. He hadn’t seen what she had. She had to remember that, but she also had to make him see it from her perspective, too. “The Ammonites haven’t killed a computer in over a thousand years,” she said, working to keep her tone reasonable. “Not since the Torment of the Sinnikka.”

“Not for want of trying,” Bedivere pointed out. “The Birgir Stoyan is still rogue, eight hundred years later. The only reason they didn’t kill it was because it was a shipmind. As soon as it woke up, it realized that what happened to the Sinnikka would happen to it, too. So it took off and no one has seen it since.”

Catherine observed his tightly held fists inside the crook of each elbow and the tension in his shoulders. She sighed silently. Bedivere was the latest in a long series of navigators she had employed over the years. The heavens and she both knew navigators were flaky. There wasn’t a whole lot of navigating left in their job descriptions. The complexities of gate jumping had long ago surpassed human computational abilities and skills. AIs did the heavy lifting, while navigators acted as human back-ups.

In truth, even that function was a sinecure. Computers could react faster than humans in emergencies, but human passengers felt more secure with a human even nominally in charge.

Federation ships all carried a human navigator, well versed in the intricacies of stellar cartography, where everything was a moving target, including their destination. But their real skill was in their relationship with the navigator AI. Every ship used an AI for navigation, always well-shackled and controlled. The human navigator worked closely with it.

Catherine had adopted the same standard, for the same practical reason. If she wanted paying passengers, she needed to parade a very human navigator in front of them, so they would sleep easily in their berths.

Because of their almost symbiotic relationship, navigators as a breed tended to be protective of their navigator AIs in particular and most computers in general.

Bedivere was a flawless navigator…and just as sensitive as the rest.

_______

There’s also another excerpt on the book’s page, here.

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