In a science fiction romance novel, blending the science and the romance can be a tricky proposition. People working in the genre often make the point that scifi focuses on ideas, and romance concentrates on emotions. But a scifi romance combines these two elements by showing how the ideas affect the hero and heroine’s growth and their relationship. The characters are the balancing point for idea and emotion.
Of course, the miraculous technology of the future world has to be detailed and cool enough to be interesting on its own, like a floating space city and a cure for old age. But to engage the emotions as well as the mind, the reader has to experience the tech through the characters’ thoughts and feelings about it and how they live their lives around it. In my new release Ladder to the Red Star, technology like the space elevator and genetic manipulation is woven into the fabric of Devi, he heroine’s world, much as cars and the internet are taken for granted in our world. Seeing her reaction to another ordinary day working on a space station makes the tech feel real.
However the futuristic setting has to be more than just a backdrop. It both creates obstacles that the hero and heroine must overcome, and provides them with tools to help them along their way. For example, the hero, Jacques, desperately needs medical technology to cure his disease and save his mother’s life. This is the object of his quest, the promise it holds is what drives him into action and ultimately brings him together with Devi. But in order to get the cure he has to navigate the dangers of the space elevator, a high-tech fortress controlled by his worst enemy.
Science, and the moral and physical challenges it provides, becomes the means of furthering Jacques and Devi’s relationship and proving their heroism. It wouldn’t be a romance without it.