Hi friends! We have Cynthia Sax back with us today, and I’m thrilled to have our first official Smithsonian Heritage post of 2019, for Women’s History Month, and such a great topic. I’m out of it so you’ll have to forgive me on timing and mistakes etc – especially when we’ve got such a wonderful guest and post!
Trailblazing Women In Science Fiction Romance By Cynthia Sax
When Limecello suggested this topic, I immediately agreed to cover it, thinking it would be an easy post to write. I’d search on Google, read a couple of posts on the history of Science Fiction Romance, add my own experience in this wonderful subgenre and bam, my post would be done.
Except when I searched on this topic, very few posts were mentioned. Wikipedia’s coverage of Science Fiction Romance was sparse and mentioned only one book, a book I knew couldn’t have been the first Science Fiction Romance.
This can’t be right, I thought. There must be more articles. My mad Google skillz must be failing me. So I put out a call in a SciFi Romance group for reference articles. A couple more resources were mentioned (including Heather Massey’s A Brief History Of Science Fiction Romance) but it was clear much of the history of this female writer dominated subgenre hasn’t be recorded and, if it isn’t recorded soon, it might never be noted. It would be lost. Forever.
That was quite a revelation for me, especially as I was researching a post for Women’s History Month. I considered it to be a sign. I should lead the effort to rectify this.
As I start on that huge decade or longer project, I’ll share what I have thus far. Hopefully, years from now, I’ll read this post and think “Wow. I knew nothing about the history of Science Fiction Romance back then. It is so much more vibrant and action-packed than I once thought.”
Because it IS an exciting subgenre. Science Fiction Romance is the adventurous, rebel child of two genres—Romance and Science Fiction.
Romance stories have been around since the beginning of time. We have always loved love and happy endings.
A notable early writer of romance and the writer we often think of when we mention that genre is Jane Austen, first published in 1811. When she was writing, women couldn’t sign contracts. Her brother Henry had to do that on her behalf. And respectable women didn’t put their names on their books. Jane Austen’s novels were published anonymously. Almost all of her books were also sold “on commission.” The publisher advanced her the funds to produce the books and she had to repay the publisher. That was quite risky. She was definitely a trailblazer.
The first Science Fiction novel, published in 1818, was written by a teenage girl. Mary Shelley started crafting Frankenstein when she was 18. It was a result of a contest amongst her friends to write the best ghost story. Instead, Mary Shelley invented a completely new genre. That is about as bada$$ as a writer can be.
I’m still tracking down the first Science Fiction Romance writer, have traced it back to 1967 thus far. That was the year Restoree, a novel written by Anne McCaffrey, was published.
Restoree, often shelved with Science Fiction, is a classic Science Fiction Romance. There’s an alien abduction, a romance with a deposed Regent, and a happy ever after.
(Some humans are eaten by the enemy on the path to true love but hey, that sometimes happens.)
It was written in response to the many Science Fiction stories that feature female characters with no agency, female characters who wait to be rescued.
Anne McCaffrey was recalled as saying “I was so tired of all the weak women screaming in the corner while their boyfriends were beating off the aliens. I wouldn’t have been—I’d’ve been in there swinging with something or kicking them as hard as I could.”
THAT is the type of heroine I love in Science Fiction Romance.
Who are some of your favorite female writers in Science Fiction Romance?
Cynthia Sax Bio: USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes SciFi, contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of romance top ten lists.
Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com. Facebook, Twitter: @CynthiaSax, Blog,
Chuckles hates all humans. In the past, humans betrayed him. That treachery caused permanent damage to his muscular form, resulting in a lifespan of pain.
When the primitive D Model cyborg answers a distress call sent by a pink-and-blue haired, sparkly human female, he knows it’s a trap. He still has to respond to her fake cry for help. She belongs to him, is the one being genetically fabricated for him. But he plans to be her captor, not her captive.
Bettina, aka Bait, works with a team of females, snaring sexual predators in space, seizing their ships and transporting them to primitive planets. As soon as she speaks with Chuckles, she knows he’s not like the others. He has honor, is a being worthy of respect, of caring.
But she can’t let him go. She has to trap him. His dominance thrills her. His deep voice evokes desires she’d never experienced in the past. She’ll risk it all, breaking every rule for one wild encounter with the male she calls Sir.