Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sci-Fi & Romance With a Kick - by Vijaya Schartz

I always thought pure Sci-Fi could benefit from a little more human (or alien) emotion, and pure romance lacked in action, adventure, and plot. For me, a good read should have all of the above, that's why I write Sci-Fi romance. The road has been difficult at best, but finally publishers are starting to realize that these two genres were meant to mix to make a new category, for which bookstores still have to find a slot on their shelves. Romantic Science Fiction, or as I call it, Sci-Fi & Romance with a kick, has a wide readership eager for more books.
The first publisher to give me a chance was Triskelion Publishing. They started in 2004, mixing romance with other genres, like gothic, urban fantasy, and Science Fiction. From an e-book publisher they went on to trade paperbacks and now mass market paperbacks, carried by all major bookstores. You may visit them at
Since then, larger publishers realized the potential of sci-fi romance and you can find these books slowly filling the shelves, although the booksellers still do not know where to place them. So our fans have to look very hard for them. Often in romance, these books are called futuristic, but the definitions vary greatly among authors and publishers. Is the emphasis on the romance? Or is it on the futuristic plot? My opinion differs from most. I think there should be an equal amount of plot and emotion. When the perfect balance is achieved, the reader, male or female, will enjoy the story.
Yes, I said male. My readers are equally male and female. When I talk to a male reader, I say there is sex in my books. When I talk to a female reader, I say there is romance in my books. The truth is, men don't mind romance as long as you don't call it that, if the story is exciting. And women don't mind a little techno talk, as long as there is a romantic thread and tension throughout and a happy ending. I call it the best of both worlds.
Another trend in romantic sci-fi is that the heroine is strong and very often kicks butts. That's my girl! No damsel in distress here. She often saves the hero's sweet little butt. Right you are. Maybe it's because I'm a black belt in Aikido that I like strong heroines, but publishers like them, too. The modern women is no victim and takes control of her destiny, no matter how hard it gets.
If you are looking for a good sci-fi kick butt romance, check out my titles at Amazon here:
And if you want to know more about my books, just visit my website at:
Have a wonderful day.


Jennifer Talty said...

Love it! I love Science Fiction of all kinds.

sixy said...

Excellent blog, Vijaya! I love it when I'm in a story with a Kick-butt heroine; whether I experience her fight or flight adrenaline or her tears, it's all good. As long as she takes the bruises and bumps and I get the thrill of the adventure, we both win at the end of the story. Penny Nickel

Eden Robins said...

Love your new blog, Vijaya! You write fantastic sci fi romance, and your kick butt heroines are awesome! :-)

Any sneak peek excerpts you can offer on your blog? I'd love to see what's up and coming with your next books.

Jennifer Ashley said...

Hey Vijaya--like your blog. I agree that sci-fi, at least in the past, often lacks the human emotion component. I always wanted to write sci-fi, but wanted to write more about the characters than hard science or philosophy (science and philosophy are fine, but I want to read about *people*). I'm glad you've stuck to your guns and keep writing your mix of sci-fi and romance. You're right that more publishers are taking the chance--Dorchester in particular does a lot of "futuristic" romance, and at Ellora's Cave, futuristic or sci-fi romance does well. The sci-fi publishers are starting to "get it" as well--see the novels of Catherine Asaro, Wen Spencer, and Lois MacMaster Bujold.

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of this cross genre!!

Vijaya Schartz said...

Thanks, Jennifer Ashley, Jennifer Talty, Eden, and Penny. It's good to see sci-fi romance has staunch supporters.

Vijaya Schartz

Jen said...

I like your blog - its very easy to read and I do agree that romance can be mixed into anything.
I must remember the line about sex for men and romance for women!

Jen Black

Susan Wingate, Writer said...

Great blog, Vijaya. By the way, France... ahh! We're headed back in May 2008 right before the BEA in LA that year, which I WILL be attending.