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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Different Kind of Romance

Science Fiction Romance has always been it's own creature. For the most part, our covers aren't pink, don't involve parasols and are found in the once-male-dominated section referred to as sci-fi and fantasy. That section hasn't been male dominated in several decades, but what the old boys fail to notice won't hurt them. *shhh!*

Even if SFR winds up shelved in romance (it could happen) it isn't something fans of regency date-rape romance will see as romance. Do you remember those hideous books from the early 80s with ludicrous covers and rape-as-romance? My friend had a stack of those given to her by her mother and we laughed for hours over the nonsense. Rapists in SFR wind up dead by the end of the book, they aren't the romantic hero. Ever. So sorry.

Aside from a certain lack of dresses and cocktails (SFR seems to favor hard liquor) I thought that was the end of our differences. Until I read THE DEFEATED HEROINE a post by Reader DM .

Excuse me, but when did erasing your personality for love become either loving or romantic? As Mo points out in the comments, some people are into the submission/dominance games and as long as it's consensual and all players are happy I certainly won't say anything about it. To each their own and all. But that's not the discussion here.

In The Defeated Heroine the author discusses several situations where female main characters throw away their entire lives and personalities because they choose to marry. That's not romance, that's a desperate cry for help. Maybe it's a scathing commentary on marriage. I don't know the authors well enough to say. I can say with some authority that, no ma'am, that's not romance. I'm in complete agreement Reader DM, these aren't happy endings.

And when I read that I also realized what I write as an individual isn't the average romance either.

Most romance ends with marriage. The proposal is the end of the romance. "And they lived happily ever after... or else Prince Charming would chop off her head and find another maiden fair."


Am I the only person horrified by the prospect that romance ends with "I do"? Shouldn't romance live on in a marriage? Shouldn't people have individual personalities once married?

I think so. Romance after marriage is essential to happiness. The wedding day isn't the end of the wooing, the sex, or the fun (wouldn't that suck if it were). Maybe that's secretly why most my romance takes place in a married/committed relationship. Courtship is all well and good, but I tend to be leery of people whose sole focus in life is winning that person. They really need another hobby. There is a difference between love and obsession. We've proved that.

It's a different kind of romance. Writing about stay-at-home-dads (EVFiL), or staying by your spouse through the bad days (Chasing Jane), or even working with your spouse during battle (Under Command) aren't common. I'm not breaking new ground, not by decades, but it's under-explored terrain. And I'm happy to be here. ;o)

Red Umbrella image found HERE and used under Fair Use Laws.


  1. Woot! Love to see authors branching out into new territory. Go for it, Liana! I'm rootin' for ya.