Recently, I found myself commenting on a blog post – at length. This is unusual (not, the length, as I’m inclined to windiness, but commenting at all is unusual). The post that prompted the comment was on SF Romance; “Is Sci-Fi Romance Really All That Difficult to Write?”
If you’ve read any of my Beloved Bloody Time series, you can probably guess why I waded in with my opinion.
If you read the post on SFRomance and the comments that follow, you’ll see that generally, all the commentors and writers agree that readers of SFR aren’t there in great enough numbers to make it more than a specialized niche market.
This would seem to jibe with comments in reviews I’ve had for the Beloved Bloody Time series, including:
“This complicated love story may not be for everyone but I found stretched the same brain territory as my love for science fiction”
“I don’t really do sci fi…there was not enough of it to deter me from enjoying the story”
“Luckily I am into sc-fi and paranormal so I didn’t have trouble with the premise and technicalities of fictional time travel.”
“I love time travel romances but sci-fi — not so much”
“Pay attention to the details, they matter.”
All these comments, and a lot more negative ones that called the books “too complicated”, but didn’t specifically speak of the SF element, lead me to believe that a great many readers either don’t like SF with their romance, or, they don’t like to have to think too much while they’re reading.
I don’t like either of these conclusions because one makes romance readers sound terribly narrow-minded and the other makes us sound…well, mentally lazy. And I don’t think either of these are true at all. Most of the romance readers I’ve met are wonderfully open-minded and more mentally alert than many non-readers I know.
I have a tendency to write great big, complicated and layered stories and readers – you – love them. I intend to go on writing behemoths, too. They’re the sort of stories I like reading; the world or the universe in jeopardy, a hero/heroes that is/are to die for, incredibly high personal stakes for the hero and heroine and a love story that stops your clock for you. What’s not to love?
But now I want to turn the tables and ask you:
Is SF Romance really all that difficult to read?
Please add your comment below. Let’s talk it over.