Ann Aguirre is today’s guest blogger and the author of Grimspace–a complex sci-fi novel with romantic elements, superlatively drawn characters and an unending bag of plot-twist tricks. Oh, and a book that hit #8 on the Barnes & Noble science fiction & fantasy mass market bestseller list last week, even though its release date was yesterday. Having read Ann’s book, I’m not surprised by this early marker of her future success. (Read part 1 of our interview HERE.)
Today, she talks about spinning story and shares a recent review of her work. And–CONTEST ALERT–Ann will give away a signed copy of Grimspace to one person who comments on this post between now and Sunday at midnight, EST. Listen. You want this book. Leave a comment. Leave ten to increase your chances.
Feminine New Frontiers in SF
What are you looking for in a book? Entertainment? Excitement? Novelty? Orginality? All of the above? I come at this from a slightly different angle. I’m a romance writer who wanted to write quirky, off-the-beaten track love stories. I wanted to offer all of the intensity, but I didn’t want all my heroines to be nice or sweet. I didn’t want all my heroes to be noble. I’m looking for something different when I read, and that’s what I try to write. I want to explore moral gray-space.
Overall, I think the best thing an author can do is take some elements that make a book successful, spin, and combine in a new way. For instance, romance subplots offer a lot in the way of extra value, added to other genres. What’s the difference between romantic SF and futuristic romance? Will romance be accepted in traditionally manly bastions like SF?
A dialog on SF’s new frontiers from Calico Reaction:
Shara: “…this book freaking SHINES, and it shines for two reasons. First, we’ve got voice: we’ve got first person, present tense, and not just any first person/present tense, but frankly, Jax has the voice of an urban fantasy heroine blasted into space. I’m not joking. The tough-girl, kick-ass, snarky attitude is on par with most all the urban fantasies I’ve read so far, and I have to say, that’s a touch of genius.”
Me: “You totally sussed out what I was trying to do in terms of giving SF a bit of a feminine facelift. I did want to try to capture the essence of what makes UF such a hot property. Could it be done successfully in SF as well?”
Shara: “But go you for bring elements of UF to SF. I eat UF up because it’s so much fun to read, and it wasn’t too long ago that I remember wondering what, if anything, would be a truly feminized version of SF, because so much of it is marketed to men.”
Me: “This was exactly my thought. This series is tailored for women. That’s not to say men aren’t allowed to read it and enjoy it, but I wrote it with women in mind. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of interstellar exploration, but I’m more interested in the pioneer souls who would go out to meet the great unknown than in the science of how they do it.”
She isn’t the first reader to offer this comparison, but she’s the one with whom I spoke about it in depth. What do y’all think about the broadening of SF’s frontiers? I know hard SF readers may not appreciate what I’ve done, but there are enough boy-tech books out there to keep them busy. I write my books for women to read and enjoy. I wanted to attract a broader audience, ladies who, perhaps, would never have picked up a SF title under ordinary circumstances.
So let’s extrapolate that core idea.
UF heroines in SF? Is it possible? Can you guys think of other examples, besides Grimspace, where authors have done this? I open the floor to your thoughts and ideas.