I first met Jeanne Adams through the Romance Bandits blog, and since then I’ve read all her books. I’m excited about the new path she’s taking with her upcoming release. Be sure to go to the end of this post for details of Jeanne’s extra-special GIVEAWAY!
Writers through the ages have speculated about who might be “out there” in the outer reaches of space, or what/who might be already here! From HG Wells through Andre Norton right on down to today’s stars of the Science Fiction and Fantasy realms, authors love to create worlds then people them with the strange products of their imagination. What’s odder than Edgar Rice Burroughs’s animate brains from his stories of Mars AKA Barsoom? Or in Anne McCaffrey’s Rowan series, the bug-like aliens who threaten Earth’s existence? Authors get to examine, and then threaten the reader with, their worst fears and nightmares in full, “living” mental Technicolor.
Then there’s the “reality” – the news stories of strange lights in the sky and encounters that seem a little too real to be explainable as weather balloons, atmospheric anomalies or what have you. Area 51. The Bermuda Triangle and all the planes and ships which have disappeared therein.
So it really begs the question, doesn’t it? Who, or what, is out there? As a writer, I’ve enjoyed doing the speculation thing. I’m a firm believer that it cannot be just us, alone in the Universe, sitting in splendid isolation on the third rock from a big red star we call the Sun. So….if that’s the case, when will we make find out? Will “They” contact us? Or will we be the ones to reach for the stars, a la Star Trek, and be the ones making the contact?
Some of my favorite books work on telling stories about this kind of thing – contact, relationships out among the stars – and what happens next. I really did start with HG Wells. His famous book The Time Machine was, to me, both thrilling and terrifying. I still get the shivers when I think about the morlocks. Eeep! I’ve also read everything Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote. I loved the Barsoom stories, starting with John Carter of Mars. Despite the lamentable movie version, the books are brilliant and the love story between the powerful Dejah Thoris and the world traveling John Carter is one of the best I’ve read. When you consider it was written in the early 1900s it’s even MORE brilliant. And in the medium of portals/transfers to strange worlds, I adore Andre Norton’s Witch World series where our own Earthly Simon Tregarde steps through a portal into the most intriguing Witch World to meet Jaelithe of the Witches of Escarp. Their relationship—forbidden and fraught with peril—shaped my perception of relationships across species/cultures.
Now, as an adult reader, in addition to all the romance and paranormals I read, I still love to read tech-y science fiction. Elizabeth Moon and her Herris Serrano books, SM Stirling’s books written with Anne McCaffrey and a few of his stand-alones, Anne McCaffrey’s space stories, and even a few strictly hard science fiction authors. I recently re-read Arthur Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. Its as brilliant today as it was the first time I read it.
More than anything, however, I love it when books combine stories of exploration and adventure with the battles we have to keep/have/start relationships. For instance, McCaffrey’s Nimisha’s Ship is about a woman who is a ship designer. She’s stranded on a world with others who’ve also been shipwrecked, and builds a relationship with one of the other survivors. In her books about The Rowan, and her other books in that series, almost all of them involve some kind of relationship between the psychically gifted protagonists. I love them, both for the adventurous stories, as well as the relationships that naturally develop along the way.
Now I do like the straight tech-adventures, but while I enjoy an occasional dose of David Drake’s tech worlds, I can’t stomach a steady diet of it any more than I can read a whole lot of literary fiction or straight thriller a la Jack Reacher. I really need to know about the people. The interactions, the loves and hates and passions of the characters. I want to know how you have a relationship with someone when you’re a Star Lord. How do you manage to keep your marriage going if you’re a starship captain and your spouse is planetbound? If you start a romance with someone who’s not from your planet, let alone from your culture, how does that work? Disaster or delirious happiness?
I’ve loved the latest Star Trek reboots, as well as the fun trend for action heroes. The latest send up from Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy, is very tech-heavy. It starts with an “alien abduction” from Earth too. How typically Hollywood is that? Love it! From Close Encounters to Signs to The Day the Earth Stood Still, it’s all about Them coming to get Us. But there’s Star Lord thinking about getting something going with Gamora, and both of them just as “bad to the bone” as you can get. He’s at least half-human, so….how will that work out?
In my latest book, The Tentacle Affaire, I explore some of those issues. What happens when my heroine, an alien hunter, finds out there’s magic on earth, magic she never even considered as real when she lived here full time? What happens when my hero, a magic-wielding adept “policing agent” finds out there are aliens, and alien-hunters prowling around Washington, DC? You’ll have to read the story to find out, but it’s definitely an adventure. I also posit that They think WE are barbarians, barely past the club-and-spear stage.
As a writer, I’m obviously not alone in this prediction/presentation, but it’s not as common as it once was. Most of the books and movies these days have us, the human race, as the dominant species going after the aliens and triumphing. But there are still plenty of the other type – movies like War of the Worlds make us the victims, as does Battleship, and Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Some leave us hanging as to whether or not we ultimately survive (Troopers, Pacific Rim, etc), and others keep us moving on to a new menace, such as the Transformer movies), other are kind of a “one and done” sort of thing.
Books do the same, of course. We can be the masters or the enslaved, the seekers or the sought. However, what’s the most fun for YOU, dear reader? What do you like?
Do you like fantasy (sword and sorcery, magic) or more the science fiction/tech with your romance?
Do you love the long-term love story of Aragorn and Arwen, or do you prefer a quicker story line?
What’s your favorite paranormal book or series?
Do you like the post-apocalyptic aliens have attacked and we’re cleaning up the aftermath sort of story like Falling Skies and Independence Day?
Or are you more about the exploration, the seeing what’s out there, like Star Trek?
As a Star Fleet officer, would you date an alien if he looked like Zachary Quinto’s Spock or Worf from the Deep Space Nine?
What are YOUR top five favorite sorcery or futuristic love stories?
On Friday, RU’s resident weapons expert ADAM FIRESTONE discusses silencers.
She doesn’t believe in magic.
When human Slip Traveler Cait Brennan’s routine mission to retrieve a lost interstellar pet goes FUBAR, she ends up hip-deep in a plot to kill five US Senators that puts Earth’s entire population at risk. If she can’t uncover who’s behind the conspiracy and keep her alien employers a secret, she’ll be terminated—permanently.
He doesn’t believe in aliens.
Haunted by a devastating failure in another city, magical Adept Enforcer Aiden Bayliss is relentless in protecting the DC area from dark entities. He’ll destroy the powerful force that’s taking out key politicians, whoever—or whatever—it is. And, in spite of the white-hot attraction sizzling between them, his main suspect is one curvy mystery named Cait.
With everything Aiden believes in question, and Cait squared off against a deadly assassin, both must choose. Uphold their oaths and lose each other forever, or stand together and die.
One lucky commenter will receive a copy of The Tentacle Affaire along with “alien” jelly beans PLUS a Starbucks Washington DC mug and coffee card! The winner will be announced on Thursday.
- Paranormal Romance – Hot? Not?
- Make Your Workspace Work for You with Jeanne Adams
- Writing the Witchy Way by Deborah Blake
- Boundaries of Imagination by Jacqui Jacoby
- CTW: The Darker Side of Paranormal by Alexandra Sokoloff