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Topic: Space and romance

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Subject: Space and romance
Date Posted: 12/2/2008 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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I want to start a thread about SF romance.  Wen Spencer.  Linnea Sinclair.   Sharon Shinn.  Robin Owens.  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  Who are you reading?  Who are your faves? 

Are they more SF or more romance?

Date Posted: 12/3/2008 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I just tried my first Linnea Sinclair, Finders Keepers, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I was happy to see that it read like a sci-fi book with romance thrown in, instead of a romance with some vague sci-fi attributes, which I had worried it would be. I just recently bought a couple more of hers with a B&N gift card I was given.

S.L. Viehl has a series I like, starting with Stardoc centered around a woman surgeon that has a bit of a romance aspect to it. The series takes her to all kinds of places and she diagnoses and treats all kinds of strange aliens and strange medical conditions. It also has a good bit of action in the stories too.

I tried Sharon Shinn's book Archangel, but didn't care for it much. I haven't picked up anything else of hers. I'd like to get my hands on some of Lee and Miller's Liaden books. I've got Partners in Necessity on my WL, but I'll probably end up buying it.

Date Posted: 12/3/2008 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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Miller and Lee's books are going to be reissued as mass market PBs by Ace, starting this month.  That should make them easier to find. 

S L Viehl also writes paranormal romance (the novels of the Darkyn) under the name Lynn Viehl. 

I think Sharon Shinn has a style that feels much more like fantasy.  All that lush language with sparse action.  But the angels were clearly genetically engineered.  I like the twist of all these religious archetypes being man made and regular folk rather than holy.  My favorite of hers would be the more SF of them, Jovah's Angel, about an engineer who is needed to fix "god".  Archangel would probably be my least.  Have not read her 12 house series.  Couldn't get into the first one.  Too much fantasy for my tastes.

Finders Keepers is on my keeper shelf.  Have her new book on my TBR. 

Date Posted: 12/3/2008 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I think that's why I didn't care for Shinn, the book seemed much more like fantay. I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, but otherwise...it just doesn't catch my interest.

Thanks for the update on Miller and Lee's books, seems ACE has good timing :P  I also looked up Wen Spencer and added a few of hers to my WL, they looked interesting. I was trying to think of any other sci-fi I've read with romance and remembered Turning Point by Lisanne Norman. It has a really interesting premise, colonists cut off from earth by aggressive alien species. Main character is a telepath and she helps another telepath of a different alien species after his shuttle crashes near the colony. It was good, but not enough action for my taste. But it was the first in a series, and had a lot of world building to do, backstory and stuff. I've got the second and third in my TBR and I'm hoping they pick up. Other than that I'm pretty new to the genre so I'm interested in other's recommendations. I especially like series where you follow one or two characters throughout.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 2:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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Wen Spencer's Tinker and its sequel Wolf Who Rules have much more of a romantic subplot than her Ukiah Oregon series.  While I love the Ukiah books, they are not quite enough over the line for me to think of them as romantic SF. 

I read Turning Point years ago.   And I know I got up to the third book.  But it isn't on my shelf now.  Hmmm.

Some old ones that are:

Doris Egan's Ivory books.  The Gate of Ivory is the first.  (Doris is now writing for TV.)

Alis Rasmussen's Highroad Trilogy.  A Passage of Stars is the first.  (Alis is AKA Kate Elliot)  This is in the same world as the Jaran series but at a different time period.

Joan Vinge's Snow Queen series.

 

Date Posted: 12/7/2008 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 357
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Lois McMaster Bujold's "The Sharing Knife" series is mostly a romance. Not sure I would classify it as SF, but it isn't strictly fantasy either.

Date Posted: 12/13/2008 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 10
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I'd argue that Bujold's Sharing Knife series is distinctly fanstasy, just not in a sterotypical European/medieval setting. 

Some of her Vorkosigan books are very romantic (and science fiction).  Especially Cordelia's Honor (Shards of Honor/Barrayar) and the arc from Komarr to Civil Campaign (and Winterfair Gifts). 

Also, I'd mention Julie Czerneda's Thousand Words for Stranger trilogy and Katherine Kerr's Snare. 

Date Posted: 12/24/2008 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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Katharine Kerr's Snare?  Will have to look for it.  Didn't like the Deverry books.  But I think I did read Freeze Frame and Polar City Blues.  But I'm vague whether it was Freeze Frame or Lisa Mason's Summer of Love.  Similar plots and many years ago.

Date Posted: 12/28/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2006
Posts: 64
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As far as Sharon Shinn, you could try Heart of Gold (now at Book Closeouts.com for $4.99) or her Twelve Houses series, all excellent and with a strong romance element.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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I couldn't get into the 12 Houses.  I read alot of SF and paranormal.  But get too much literary fantasy feel to a book, and I'll not finish.   I read all of Patty Briggs's Raven books.   And loved Brigg's Dragon's Bones and Dragon's Blood.  So it is not fantasy per se.  Shinn's 12 Houses did not keep my attention.  Come to that, I read all of Sharon Shinn's YA books (Safe Keeper's series) but not the 12 houses. 

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 340
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I just found this topic. Several of my favorites have been mentioned already (Bujold, Shinn, Vinge, Lee & Miller, Czerneda). I also love Catherine Asaro's Skolian series, Ann Aguirre's Jax series, Karen Traviss' Wess'har series (although the romance is unconventional), Jane S. Fancher's NetWalkers series (unconventional again here), and I just read The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald, which I enjoyed.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Catherine Spangler is another writer I recently found who writes romance with a sci-fi setting. Well, she's really romance-y and not very sci-fi. I don't like her as much as Linnea Sinclair (who I think does a better mix of the two), but it's good filler.

Rowena Cherry is another name in the genre, but I haven't read anything by her yet.

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Susan Grant, don't read her much anymore but probably fits your criteria.

Kinsman's Oath by Susan Krinard?

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 3,883
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 Ann Aguirre Grimspace, Wanderlust, Doubleblind.    Haven't read the 2nd two, but the first was good! 

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 69
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What about the Rowan series by Anne McCaffrey, sometimes called Tower and the Hive series. I know I re-read that series multiple times growing up. I think it has a good mix of sci-fi action and romance.

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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The Vorkosigan novels are superb, and the two in the omnibus Cordelia's Honor (Shards of Honor and Barrayar) are the perfect place to start the series and they do feature a great adult romance. However, the best romance in the series (the arc or Komarr, A Civil Campaign, and Winterfair Gifts) comes at the end chronologically, and really benefits from having all the back story (though they do all work as stand-alones).

I would add a recommendation of Sharon Shinn's Wrapt in Crystal; it is undeniably sci-fi (space travel and everything!), also features a fairly good mystery, and has my favorite character of hers ever in Jovieve.

I too enjoyed the Rowan series by Anne McCaffrey, though they got less interesting to me as the number of characters multiplied; I really loved the book focused on Afra (the second one, called Damia).

And an author you all haven't mentioned is Connie Willis; not all of her novels feature romance, but they are all very funny (if you like dry, British humor). If you definitely wanted the romance angle, try Bellwether or Uncharted Territory; if you want something a little more melancholy (but still romantic) try Passage or Remake.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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I'm reading one of the Shomi books right now.  Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi.  The romance is not thrilling me.  Too young and naive.  But the whole book has references to cyberpunk books.  Molly Millions from William Gibson. 

Shomi are a series of books from Love Spell / Dorchester that are all SF romances, mainly with manga covers.  Marketed at young women?  Typical of Love Spell, they vary widely in quality.  Driven is one of the well reviewed ones.  (That is still in my TBR, this one is promised so I started it.)